I love thrillers, and I somehow managed to miss COPYCAT until now. I can't join the reviewers who carry on about it as if it were the greatest thriller ever (it isn't), but I enjoyed it. Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter are an interesting combination, and it's always nice to see not 1 but 2 strong females in one story, especially this kind of story. But the plot is rather routine, and the characters (nervous woman psychologist, tough woman cop, sensitive male cop, mother-fixated loony, wisecracking gay assistant, disgusting incarcerated serial killer who offers to help find the new killer) all seem to have come from Central Casting. They're all "types" rather than 3-dimensional human beings. Other than their actions in this story, we never learn a single thing about any of them. Do they have families? Friends? Other interests beside their jobs? Political or religious beliefs? Plans for the future? We never learn any of this, only what they're doing right now, in this moment. Where they came from and what will happen to them after the final credits roll is a mystery.
Still, it's very entertaining. The most interesting aspect is the direction of Jon Amiel--he piles on the style, making everything look dark and dank, even the "normal" places (Sigourney Weaver's well-appointed waterfront home looks positively sinister). There's never enough lighting in any scene, and that's obviously deliberate--it makes you feel nervous even when nothing horrible is happening. Amiel took a standard "serial-on-the-loose" tale and made it look and sound a lot better than it probably is, and the cast is excellent (a particular shout-out to Harry Connick, Jr., who's downright creepy). Lots of stylish touches, lots of thrilling sequences, and a satisfying conclusion add up to a good. solid--but not very profound--popcorn movie.