88 minutes is a film with such an engaging start, despite the not so good acting of the flat-chested victim. At the end though, it fails to impress me.
University professor Dr. Jack Gramm, ordinarily played by Al Pacino, moonlights as a forensic psychiatrist for the FBI. From his convincing set of testimonies, suspected serial killer Jon Forster is nailed for the crime and awaits his turn on the death row. Nearing the execution date, a copycat killer has come to light and phones our moonlighting hero that he has 88 minutes to live.
With such tight time, Jack is forced to apply his expert know-how on crime psychology to pin down the caller. Despite the critical sense of urgency, Jack manages to have a dramatic car scene and one pesky apartment talk with his student. To add, this 108-minute flick dimly establishes funny sounding name Guy Laforge as one of the suspects.
Aside from underwritten characters and bland performances, some too obvious misleading acts, in fact, spoil the film’s supposedly thrilling mood. And contrary to the seemingly dawdling stride of Jack, the copycat serial killer manages to swiftly hop from one location to another and kill, kidnap, and hurt people in such a short amount of time. Such monotonous music arrangement plus the unexciting direction and poor lighting amass to make 88 minutes a boring picture.
If the film tries to make an impression, it is Neal Mcdonaugh’s convincing acting as a naïve and wrongly accused murderer. His acting is too compelling that I truly sympathize for him, making me believe that indeed he is innocent, only to be revealed in the end that he indeed is a notorious psychopath.
Certainly a striking sight to behold is the fictional Northwest Washington University. The building structure as well as the classrooms are truly impressive I for one would like to attend school in such modish setting. Truly awed, I researched and found out that most of the university scenes in the film were shot at the University of British Columbia near Vancouver. Such stunning university.
Taken as a whole, I enjoy the flick because of the free holy kettle popcorn and a cup of fruity something drink. Seldom that I watch a film with everything at no cost!
** april 16, 2008 post