Directed by: John Badham
Genres: Thriller, Drama, Crime
Cast: Johnny Depp, Courtney Chase, Charles S. Dutton, Christopher Walken, Roma Maffia, Marsha Mason, Peter Strauss, Gloria Reuben, Bill Smitrovich, G.D. Spradlin, Yul Vazquez, Edith Diaz, Armando Ortega, C.J. Bau, Cynthena Sanders
IMDB raintg: 6.2
My rating: 5.5 [rate 5.5]
This film is basically a failure.
The idea was nice – a bunch of organized criminals find themselves a regular guy to do the killing of the governor. Actually, they could have even killed the governor themselves, all they want is someone to put blame on. In order to make the regular guy do irregular things, they kidnap his daughter and threaten to kill her. They also give him a lot less time than criminals usually do – just a mere hour or two. And they watch him really close. The idea is not new, but very potential. There can be plenty of drama and suspense.
The choice of actors was even half good. Johny Depp was the perfect choice for the regular guy – a public accountant even. Christopher Walken was an excellent choice for the bad guy, watching over Depp and pushing him around to actually do the killing. Christopher is an experienced criminal actor. Charles S. Dutton had a nice supporting role. Peter Strauss is an excellent bad guy, who didn’t get much of screen time.
What went really bad was the story itself and the way it was told. There was practically no character development. I mean none at all. Nothing. Two small scenes – one for Christopher with his monologue about how serious of a criminal he is and another one for Johnny with a tiny dialogue over the walky-talky with his daughter. Both of these together were like 20 seconds. And pretty shallow. There was also a lot of gaps in the story and lots of useless details. Much of these useless details made the story very unrealistic.
The pace of the movie was way too slow too. Actually, if it wasn’t for attempts of Depp and Walken to bring life into this film, it would have been worth the loss in the darkest corner of the movie collection. As it is, thick layer of dust on the film cover doesn’t need an excuse.