Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Death Sentence

Death Sentence is the title of a 2007 movie starring Kevin Bacon, Kelly Preston and John Goodman. It is the story of a business man who witnesses his teenage son murdered with a machete as part of a gang initiation. He then goes Rambo on the gang's ass and kills everyone but only after they've killed or maimed about everyone in his family first.

Watching Death Sentence is more like getting a life sentence. But Tess and I watched the whole thing because despite several hundred DirectTV channels, we can never find anything but Seinfeld reruns to watch. And much as I love Seinfeld, I've just about seen everyone of them 50 times and yadda, yadda, yadda.

I don't think Kevin Bacon is a bad actor. I don't think he is a good actor (I do find the fact that he looks like Lon Cheney Sr. in the original Phantom of the Opera a bit disconcerting). I just think Bacon peaked after Footloose. But I think he has done some okay movies. I'm not sure what he was thinking when he accepted the part in Death Sentence. I suppose it was the same thing John Goodman was thinking...paycheck.

Don't get me wrong, I like a good vigilante film as well as the next guy. Who hasn't secretly longed to blow away street scum with a 12-guage Mossberg and a .357? But this film challenged my "willing suspension of disbelief" meter.

First Bacon goes from a milk toast business guy teaching his boy how to ride a bicycle to a avenging psychopath with superhuman strength in about five seconds. He is surrounded by 40 or 50 tattooed skinheads with automatic weapons and he beats them to a pulp with a key chain. Apparently these bloodthirsty gang members have never been to the shooting range either, because they manage to shoot at Bacon from two feet away and constantly miss.

Goodman plays the gun dealing father of the head gang member. He plays the same character he played in the Big Lebowski, but this time his writers were obviously smoking crack. He was neither quirky nor funny. He was just creepy in that same way as the sweaty fat guy with Tourettes Syndrome that sits down next to you on the bus is.

Kelly Preston really had no character whatsoever and was only in the film because she is married to John Travolta. I'm willing to bet the Scientoligists backed the film as well.

What adds insult to injury for me is that I Googled this film and read several random reviews raving about the "action packed psychological thriller" and Bacon's superb acting job.

Once again I am reminded that I live in my own world.


JP/deb said...

I saw this film too Tim and 100% agree with your review ...

the plausability factor was a big issue for me and John Goodman's creepy, filthy persona was so bad it was like a caricature.

This is why we love Netflix.


Time said...

Thanks Deb, I feel better knowing we weren't the only ones who thought the film wasn't quite there. It's a pity about John Goodman. I love his work for the Cohen brothers. But then again he did do King Ralph :)

Karen said...

Once again I am reminded that I live in my own world. Something about that line made me smile Tim because you always are just YOU. And don't you ever change ok?

Time said...

Thanks Gypsy,
I don't really have a choice. As Popeye said, "I am what I am." Or was it "I yam, what a yam?" :)