In Short: To its and our own detriment, the movie’s a bad liar. It’s actually 108 minutes
Cast: Al Pacino, William Forsythe, Amy Brenneman, Alicia Witt, Deborah Kara Unger, Leelee Sobieski, Neal McDonough, Benjamin McKenzie
Plot Outline: Al Pacino is Jack Gramm, super profiler and professor in forensic psychiatry, based in Seattle. Today is the day his most famous capture, “the Seattle Strangler” Jon Forster, gets executed. But someone’s been killing women all over Seattle using the Strangler’s modus operandi. And then Gramm gets an anonymous phone call telling him he has 88 minutes to live.
Trivia: According to the IMDb, the moment Gramm gets the phone call telling him he has 88 minutes to live, the film has eighty-eight minutes left of its running time, including credits. The film hasn’t received a release date in the States, but it has been released on dvd in Brazil. The film was originally set to be directed by James Foley, but was replaced by Jon Avnet. Foley’s gone on to make Perfect Stranger, which gets released in two weeks time.
The Good: Premise, a time-set thriller, has been tried before (24 does it great; Nick of Time, with Johnny Depp, not so great), and could be fun if done well. Also, Pacino isn’t shouting! Pacino is a great actor, but he’s always been better when he’s not shouting. There’s this monologue he does in a car halfway through the movie, where he does much with the inept script, and manages to give a numb sadness to his character that you hadn’t noticed before.
The Bad: Aforementioned sadness might just be him realizing what a crap film he’s stuck in. This is a ten little indians-thriller, where we have to guess who the killer is while the suspects get killed off one by one. Problem is that, one, guessing who is too easy, two, the suspects aren’t that interesting, three, the showdown/finale manages the feat of being dumb, unbelievable and underwhelming. And how seriously lame is it to have film called 88 minutes be 108 minutes long?
The Ugly: You know it’s going to get ugly if you see Leelee Sobieski’s name in the credits. I am sorry, but the poor girl has never been in a good film in her life. I think the film must have used a blue lens, because everything seemed blue, blue and depressing, and not in a good way.
Recommended to: Never-say-die Pacino fans. If you’ve already seen every thriller ever made, and really, really feel like watching a thriller, then go rent Inside Man again.