Synopsis: Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a cop living and working in Boston, Massachusetts. His slightly estranged daughter (Bojana Novakovic) comes home to visit, and while they are about to leave Craven’s house she is shot by an unknown assailant. This spurns Craven into a man hunt, chasing any and all leads to find his daughter’s killer. During the search Craven is contacted by a mysterious man (Ray Winstone [JOONNNEEESSSSYYYY!!!!]) who leads him to believe that the murder has deeps roots in a conspiracy. OOOOOOOOO
Stars: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Bojana Novakovic, Jay O. Sanders
When I saw the trailer for this in the theater, I couldn’t help but feel a little joy. I like Mel Gibson in action movies, or thrillers, or even buddy-cop movies. The last movie he starred in was Signs back in 2002. That was a long time ago. Since then, I’m sure everyone witnessed as he went a little bonkers after directing The Passion of the Christ. That left a bad taste in the world’s mouth. He also directed Apocalypto, which I liked. When people of an English speaking nature put the effort into having a movie they direct be in a foreign language, I cannot help but think, kudos to you for that. Also I thought Apocalypto was very visually beautiful. Anyway, Mel is back, in the lead, in an action/thriller. Really the movie is light on the action compared to some of his other fair, but as I have learned in film class, genre is always a mixed bag. Perhaps I should get into the actual break down!
What I Liked:
Did I mention Mel Gibson is back?: I guess I am giving the man a pass here. The movie is not very good, but I am glad to see him back on screen, not trying to be sensitive to women and/or making out with Helen Hunt. Gibson is good at being badass. There were a couple of things that stood out in a bad way though. He seems to be almost a foot shorter than every other guy in the movie. He has a Boston accent the whole way through, and that is annoying (but so does most everyone else). And the last thing I want to mention is a certain fight scene, which I will not tell you about, other then he gets tossed around, and beats on the other guy, and when it’s over Gibson proceeds to act like nothing happened. It was pretty funny.
What I Didn’t Like:
Crappy plot problems: So I may go into SPOILER territory here, but let me just say that there are a lot of problems with the story. It was based on a BBC miniseries, so I can understand that they had to cut things down. Let me start from the beginning, which is where the problems start. The first 15 minutes of the movie are so rushed they are practically throwaway. If you have seen the preview for this movie, then you know everything you need to know about it. There is one minor detail, but I’m pretty sure you can figure it out with the rest of the movie, so go get your popcorn then or something. Take a nice long crap in the john. By the way, the first scene of violence made me laugh, so does that make me a bad person? Ok, true spoilers from here on. Gibson’s daughter in the movie worked for some hush hush company that worked with nuclear material. They have a facility right within driving distance, which is really weird, because the father daughter relationship was supposed to be strained due to them not seeing each other much. The 2 other holes I wanted to point out had to do with the daughter’s job and associates. At one point, Mel Gibson gets caught by these guys and beat up and taken to the facility where the nuke stuff is. Then he escapes, no problem. COMPLETELY POINTLESS. If they were going to kill him, they really should have done it at some point before they strapped him to a gurney and left him alone in a room! Just a thought. Also, naturally, there is some group of “eco terrorists” involved, and Gibson goes and pays their leader a COMPLETELY POINTLESS visit, where he beats the snot out of him. It was stupid. I wonder how this all fleshed out in the miniseries, because here it was a rushed convoluted mess.
What I Hated:
There were just a lot of bad mistakes in the story. Some of the acting was sub standard. Altogether though, I can’t say I hated anything in the movie.
So this movie gets a 3. I would suggest seeing it at a matinee or just waiting for it to come out on home video. Although I was disappointed by the story, I am still glad I got to see Mel Gibson shoot some people. A line they kept repeating in the movie was “Everything’s illegal in Massachusetts.” I in turn wanted to yell at the screen “Except gay marriage!” Burn.
I missed a chapter of The John Malkovich project, mostly because I saw some mind blowing movies last week and I am trying to recover (Rashomon, Y Tu Mama Tambien, and Moon). I am lucky to have my sanity I tells ya! Or I could just be taking things too seriously. But considering the way I treat most things, movie art is about as serious as I get and I need it. Movie art and Sarah (please don’t hit me!).