Delta Films Movie Reviews
| already seen the best and the rest will progress exactly
how you probably expect it to.
4.9 out of a possible 10
Review - " Death Sentence " (on DVD) - By Ken Ellis
"Death Sentence" , A 20th Century Fox release,
Directed by James Wan.
Screenplay by Ian Mackenzie Jeffers (based on the novel by Brian Garfield).
Starrring Kevin Bacon, Garrett Hedlund, Kelly Preston, Aisha Tyler and John Goodman.
than one .A gang initiation killing being masked as a gas station robbery leaves the young man wounded and dying. During this scene,
Nick is shown chatting on a cellphone one minute, panicking over the attack on his son the next. Does he think to use his cellphone to
call for police or medical help? No, strangely enough. Later, after finding nothing but frustration from the court system, he decides to
pursue a course of revenge and go after his son's killer. However, the killer is the brother of the gang leader Billy Darley (Garrett
Hedlund) and after Nick kills the killer, he finds the entire gang in hot pursuit with revenge of their own in mind. There is a scene in which
the gang chases Nick around the city (where, apparently there are no cops despite shots being fired on the streets) and traps him in a
parking garage. To find out exactly where he is, they break up and begin searching different garage levels. When Nick gets the drop on
one gang member, he fires three shots at Nick. Do the other gang members come running? No, they stay on the garage level they were.
This film is loaded which such incongruities. What starts
off as an intelligent approach rapidly devolves into a
satire of its original intentions. There were some attempts
at message building, with the contrast between upper
class Nick and his relationship with his son against Billy
and his relationship with his brother and father. Some of
the action scenes were also well done. Bacon also has
some great moments, but all of these are few and far
between. Most of the best parts of this film are in the
beginning; perhaps some good advice would be to watch
the first 45 minutes and then shut it off. By then, you've
January 11, 2008
As the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good
intentions. While "Death Sentence" didn't exactly cause a
demonic Big Dig (isn't the real one demonic enough?), it
probably did resurface a mile or two. The good intention
being to tell a story that illustrates the futility of revenge. That
is a good idea, particularly when you support the idea with a
capable staff that includes director James Wan ("Saw"),
Kevin Bacon and Kelly Preston. Where it goes wrong is in the
execution (no pun intended) of the story. Not having read the
novel, perhaps I am at a disadvantage, but I do know what I
see. What I saw was talented, capable actors languishing a
predictable story that became more and more disjointed with
each passing scene.
The story begins with a Brady Bunch-like upper middle class
yuppie family. Nick Hume (Bacon), a successful business
executive, is returning home from a hockey game with his
oldest of two sons when the trouble begins, in more ways