Monday, October 06, 2008

88 MINUTES - less straight to DVD than straight to Dustbin

88 MINUTES is a "troubled movie", originally scheduled for release in 2005 it was finally pushed out on the crest of the RIGHTEOUS KILL publicity. It shares the same director, genre and star - Al Pacino. It's also shares the same label, "piss-poor". Once again, we have Al Pacino as a schmoove detective (well, forensic psychologist) running around town trying to find a copycat serial killer. The high concept is that the original serial killer, now on death row, is running the copycat, and has threatened that Pacino only has 88 minutes to live.

You can see how this might've looked all sexy and Se7en on paper, but on screen, this is dull as ditchwater. Pacino runs around town, barking orders to his secretary and a friendly copper on his cellphone. Meanwhile, all the audience has to hold its interest is the increasing volume, and ever-shifting colour, of Pacino's perruque.

In fairness, 88 MINUTES is not as unthrilling as RIGHTEOUS KILL - a movie that revealed whodunnit in the first five minutes. I was guessing who the copycat was till the final reel. The problem is that the reason I was guessing is because the script offered no coherent solution. Rather, we had a series of ludicrously shady suspects - all over-acting hideously - and you could've picked any one of them to finish the picture.

Will Alicia Witt ever work again?
Will Pacino fire his agent and/or perruque-maker?
Here's hoping bad thrillers aren't like buses, and we don't get a third on Friday.

88 MINUTES was released in 2007 in Israel, Romania, France and Greece. It was released earlier this year in Japan, the Philippines, Canada, the US, Taiwan, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, South Korea, Turkey, Iceland, Colombia, Venezuela and Kuwait. It is currently on release in the UK and is available on Region 1 DVD.

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