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Al Pacino? Straight To DVD? A Review Of 88 MINUTES!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I saw that some photos from the set of RIGHTEOUS KILL showed up, featuring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino together. That film, like this one, is directed by Jon Avnet, and like this one, rumor has it that RIGHTEOUS KILL will be headed directly to DVD, although it's being vigorously denied at the moment. That’s crazy, and I hope it’s not right, but that’s what we can expect for 88 MINUTES. Millennium Films just doesn't have a great track record. Still... you're talking about Pacino in a thriller here. It's gotta be decent... right?

Hey Moriarty! I've just seen 88 minutes with Al Pacino directed by the impersonal Jon Avnet. I don't know why the released date has been pushed several times to 2008, because it's not a bad movie. It's a mediocre thriller, but not bad. Alfonse plays a hot shot Seattle psychiatrist who helps the local police (represented by William Forsythe) catch serial killers. He's a single womanizer who has zero commitment. How do we know he's a ruthless son of a bitch? Because he lives in an penthouse with no decoration and lots of steel (A clear sign of that personality, at least in the movies). Anyway, he's about to watch the execution of a serial killer (Neal McDonough) he helped get his conviction. He likes to manipulate people and, although they found no DNA or hard evidence, Al convinced the juror he was the murderer of several women (victims were found with their throats slit and hanging upside down tied to one feet). I forgot, Al likes to fuck his female students too. Well. He receives an anonymous call on his cell that he's about to die in 88 minutes. One of her student (who he might or might not slept with) turns up dead, another student (Leelee Sobieski) is attacked in the campus by a stranger, another one (Alicia Witt) who has crushed on Al, is stalked by her ex. His car blows up, etc. A lot of shit happens in those 88 minutes. Why 88? Because that number has something to do with the death of his kid sister some 30 years ago. Oops! 88 Minutes, altough it could, it's not filmed in real time like, Nick of Time. Al drives a cab and runs a lot around Seattle against the clock, altough we are reminded of the time because the serial killer keeps calling and tellling "you have x minutes left". The premise it's interesting because like any whodunit the movie has a lot of secondary characters. Besides the aforementioned there's also Amy Brenneman as Al's lesbian secretary, Benjamin "Th O.C" McKenzie as an obnoxious student and the lovely Debora Kara Unger as the Campus' Dean. Wow, lots of characters. As the story unfolds the plot gets mud thick. Shit thick. There's a lot of connections between characters and once we know the truth it's hard to track back the different events that lead to the resolution. There are some nice thriller touches like at one point you think that ALL OF THEM are in cahoots like in The Game. But's the solution it's simpler. Far simpler. When I watch these type of films I expect a good resolution. It's hard because its plot tries all the time to fool you and when the true killer appears is always a letdown. Such it's the case. And worse, the killer engages in the typical explanation of the plot because otherwise we wouldn't understand shit. Anyway, Al's acting is good. He doesn't scream a lot and looks haggard and with a hangover (oh...the eighties...) and wears his usual black wardrobe. The movie is a B-thriller with familiar faces. At one point we think that Alicia Witt is going to bare it all, but damn, she's left with a t-shirt. Those non nudity contracts... Johan Hofzinser out. Thanks! ps: forgive my neanderthal English. It's not my native language. ps2: I also sent a review of The Brave One a couple of weeks ago but I think it didn't reach you.
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