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'Traveler' goes nowhere slowly

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"Traveller" (R), Review: 1 star;;You won't find high action or special effects in Bill Paxton's latest film. Unlike "Twister," his sensational early entry in last year's summer blockbusters, "Traveller" moves across the screen with hardly a stir. The subject matter of "Traveller" is certainly juicy enough, as the film follows the inner workings of a close-knit crew of Irish grifters -- the Travellers -- working the South. But the road travelled in this aimless depiction goes nowhere.;;Paxton plays seasoned con Bokky, who early on in the film bucks Boss Jack, the don-like figure of this Irish American mafia, when Bokky offers to take the young Pat (Mark Wahlberg) under his wing. An orphaned son of a shunned grifter, Pat wants back into the fold. Displaying his sometimes tender-heart, Bokky sets off to train him in the ways of their world, which is scamming everyone whose path they cross. ;;Throughout the story, Paxton's character struggles with his good angel, sometimes thinking twice before taking advantage of poor and trusting souls, yet taking their money anyway. Until Bokky comes across Jean (Julianna Margulies), a hard-working bartender and single mother. Will this less-than-honest con man take her hard-earned money or will love empower him to break from his gypsy roots?;;Margulies is one of the few rays of light in this otherwise dull tale. Best know for her role as nurse Carol Hathaway on television's "ER," Margulies comes off strikingly watchable on the big screen, playing a strong-willed woman who gets swept into the sometimes dangerous world of cons and organized crime. Jean's attraction to Bokky flips her just-getting-by lifestyle upside down, leaving you doubting that this no-nonsense character would really go for a guy like Bokky.;;While you find yourself rooting and caring about these characters, the stilted story takes away from the players. For added punch, director Jack Green and writer Jim Mc-Glynn throw in a bit of gratuitous ultraviolence when you least expect it and when the story least needs it. ;;Paxton also serves as one of the movie's producers, but perhaps Margulies should have pulled double duty and administered a little CPR to this flat-lining script. "Traveller" is an old story about the redemptive power of love, but it's desperate for a much-needed twist.

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