Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MOVIE: 88 Minutes

Either 88 Minutes went straight to DVD or the trailer was so utterly forgettable that it didn't register on my radar. I was surprised to find an Al Pacino movie from 07 that I had no idea existed.

For the record, I'm something of a Pacino fan. Particularly enjoyed Scent Of A Woman and Insomnia. I was hoping this would be on par with one of those. But I should have been alarmed by the fact that it was completely unknown, at least to me.

Being the adventurous type, I decided to give it a shot. And 88 Minutes turned out to be about Jack Gramm (Pacino) a forensic psychiatrist who works for the FBI and helped put away a dastardly serial killer, Jon Forester (Neal McDonough). However, on the day of the Forester's planned execution, Jack Gramm (according to the tag line) suddenly discovers, "he has 88 minutes to solve a murder. His own."

Unfortunately, I'm very torn over 88 Minutes, though. Very much on the fence here.

What I liked:
  • Started off well, with some phenomenal nudity
  • Very good acting from Al Pacino
  • The subject matter (ala the mind of serial killers) has always fascinated me.
What I didn't like:
  • Pacino was the only faintly shining star in the film. Everyone else was unremarkable. No chance of any awards being given out to anyone for this movie.
  • The character development was weak. Nobody outside of the protagonist even remotely held my interest. The antagonist bored me. And because of my apathy, I really didn't care either way if the villain's plot succeeded or failed.
  • The plot was too far-fetched and I had to surrender too much disbelief and rolled my eyes through much of it. It was almost comic-book like with some of the plot elements.
  • And the ending was extremely predictable, anti-climactic, and un-fulfilling.
I hope this isn't the first nail in Pacino's coffin. But this certainly wasn't worthy of his time and efforts. God help him if he needs the money THIS bad.

Most folks will want to avoid this flick. However, very forgiving Pacino fans with an extra $3 for Blockbuster, and a couple of free hours might want to pop it in the DVD and help cure their insomnia.
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