Portrait of a sociopath: Tom Ripley (John Malkovitch) takes umbrage at a drunken remark from his neighbour Jonathan Trevanny (Dougray Scott), and convinces a former associate of his to recruit him as a hit man. Ripley manipulates people because he can, because it amuses him. Right and wrong don't come into it, and yet he does live by a set of rules. These rules force him to intervene when Trevanny gets in over his head. Trevanny, a fundamentally honest and caring man and tragic figure, mistakes this intervention for compassion, and--tragically--acts according to his nature. In the end, the film leaves open the question of whether Trevanny's actions have left Ripley a changed man, or if his new insights into human nature are merely fodder for further psychological games.