Brutal Morality Tale
Release Date: August 31, 2007
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 105 minutes
Distributor: Fox Atomic/20th Century Fox/News Corp.
Director: James Wan
Writer: Ian Mackenzie Jeffers
Address Comments To:Rupert Murdoch, Chairman/CEO, News Corp.
Peter Chernin, President/COO, The Fox Group
Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen/CEO, Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp., A division of Fox, Inc. and News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
The movie stars Kevin Bacon as Nick Hume, a mild-mannered insurance accountant who enjoys his family, especially his older son Brendan, who’s very athletic. One night, however, while driving back from a hockey game in the city, the youngest member of an evil gang deliberately murders Brendan at a gas station’s mini-mart. Nick is able to identify the young thug, a teenager named Joe Darley.
Before Joe’s hearing, however, the prosecutor tells Nick that he can only get Joe three to five years because Nick didn’t actually see the murder and the gas station didn’t have any video cameras. Devastated by his son’s untimely, senseless death, Nick decides not to bother with the hearing and spies on Joe when Joe exits the courthouse to get a ride from his fellow gang members. Nick follows the gang as they drop off Joe at the place where he lives.
The next night, Nick returns with a knife in his pocket. He watches Joe takes out the trash. Nick starts beating him up. During the ensuing struggle, the knife accidentally kills Joe. Nick hides the evidence, however.
Joe’s older brother, Billy, the gang’s leader, puts two and two together. The gang goes after Nick, but Nick manages to put another gang member in the morgue. Even more angry now, Billy decides to murder Nick, Nick’s wife and their other son, Lucas. The rest of the movie tells a tale of violent revenge.
Elements of DEATH SENTENCE clearly show the violent tragedy that can occur if you take the law into your own hands, especially in a spirit of anger and revenge. The movie also has a few nifty metaphors that add depth to the drama. Even so, the movie’s moral points and artistry gets lost in the excessive bloody violence and revenge that takes over the last third of the movie. After the carnage, the filmmakers do try to return to the movie’s deeper moral metaphors, but, like the ending to Martin Scorsese’s movie TAXI DRIVER which this movie patterns itself after, it’s too late to try to impose some tastefulness once an artist has gorged himself on tasteless excess. DEATH SENTENCE also contains an extreme amount of very strong foul language.
The United States justice system is clearly broken down because it has discarded the Bible’s definition of Justice, but this movie will only fan the flames of criminal violence and revenge.
DEATH SENTENCE is a brutal morality tale that loses its moral points amid a whole lot of bloody carnage and revenge. Elements of DEATH SENTENCE clearly show the violent tragedy that can occur if you take the law into your own hands, especially in a spirit of anger and revenge. Even so, this moral point gets lost in the excessive bloody violence and revenge that takes over the last third of the story. DEATH SENTENCE also contains an extreme amount of very strong foul language. The justice system in the United States is clearly broken because it has discarded the Bible’s definition of Justice, but this movie will only fan the flames of criminal violence and revenge.