It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"Gotcha!" begins with a fairly obvious inspiration, takes it to some interesting places, and then misplaces it toward the end of the film. It also selects the wrong character to be the center of the story. Other than that, it's a fairly good movie - good enough to make us wish it had tried a little harder.
The movie begins with a student game called Gotcha, which involves undergraduates who stalk each other across a college campus and "kill" each other with globs of paint. A player of the game (Anthony Edwards) talks his parents into letting him go to Paris on vacation, and he's hardly off the plane before he meets a beautiful, young Czech woman named Sasha, who is played by Linda Fiorentino. They have a sudden, passionate romance, and when she asks him to go along with her on a trip to East Germany, he accepts.
Well, of course it turns out that she's a spy, and the two of them run into trouble from the East German police and Russian spymasters. Real life turns into a deadly game of Gotcha (which is the movie's fairly obvious inspiration), and the chase turns into a well-directed cat-and-mouse game. By now we enjoy the chemistry between the callow undergraduate and the slick European spy, and the movie has gotten to be fairly exciting.
Then it loses track of itself. The student returns to America, gets involved in further intrigues, and becomes convinced the Czech woman was only using him. For reasons only the screenplay writer knows for sure, there are no less than two excruciating scenes in which the student tries to explain the entire story, which is a waste of time, since we already know the entire story and would rather get on with it.