Synopsis: Detective Thomas Craven discovers a government conspiracy while investigating his daughter’s murder.
Release Date: January 29, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Drama, Thriller
A mystery thriller with little thrills and a mystery so overinflated you forget half of the pieces before the middle of the second act has played out. There is simply too much talking and explaining without enough revelations to keep the pace moving and your brain from wandering. Each moment you feel something big is coming it does not arrive. You are forced to keep waiting while given more and more information. When all has been divulged and the mystery is solved you simply sit back and realize you have known the answers for a very long time. The film just would not stop itself from going further than need be.
Mel Gibson as Thomas Craven pulls off the angry, determined cop/man on a mission to find answers. He is accessible and likable in his tough guy with a flair for random witty remarks way even if his emotional moments feel like more of an obligation than an actual grief-stricken father. The issue with the acting comes from just about all the other male characters in the film. Primarily those whom Craven is at odds with, the antagonists (as there are many). They are portrayed as highly effeminate. If this is a choice in order to make Thomas Craven appear more butch and the all together tough cop it is unbeknownst to the viewer. All we see is a group of men who are laughable in their speech and actions. Trying to take them serious is a ridiculous notion and the film as a whole suffers due to the fact. As the viewer you never feel a threat coming from any of the antagonists and therefore never buy in to Craven being in harms way as his investigation deepens.
The 1980s have been over for a very long time and music has changed when it comes to scoring a film. Howard Shore needs to be reminded of this as his score comes across as something straight out of an 80s melodramatic action movie. The modern edge of the film is completely consumed as the crescendo picks up when fight sequences ensue because the score feels overly theatrical and ceremonious. The music feels like it is itself overacting when a more subtle and sophisticated approach would have been a more relevant route to take.
You cannot honestly call this an action movie. It does give you moments sporadically of action gasp; mostly from the unexpected death sequences. All is quiet and still and then suddenly out of nowhere a car crashes through or maybe a gun blasts and you are awakened out of your mystery solving coma. These few moments may offer up the adrenaline rush you walked in expecting from this movie but they are no where near enough to justify the word action being used to describe them. Perhaps a better phrase would be ‘cheap thrills’.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Martin Campbell
- Producer(s): William MonahanAndrew BovellMel Gibson (Thomas Craven)
- Screenwriter(s): Danny Huston (Bennett)
- Cast: Stuart BairdPhil MeheuxThomas E. Sanders
- Editor(s): Lindy Hemming
- Cinematographer: Howard Shore
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: UKUSA