|Film Brats - Reviews|
Now remember, it was Dave that was taken away in the car. I found the strongest points of the film were in the story and with most of the acting. Sean Penn and Tim Robbins are scene stealers, but it’s easy to forgive them, because you can tell how involved they were with their characters. They don’t miss a beat. The eyes tell all. Robbins as older Dave (who was taken away in a car) with his wide eyes and piercing stares. Penn as older Jimmy with his narrowed, beady glances exuding a variety of emotions from pain and betrayal to confidence and determination all at one time. Bacon as older Sean is much more subdued and matter of fact, not letting anyone know what he’s thinking until he speaks. He puts his guard down only when he knows it will help him even more. The women do a fine job, but their characters are so underdeveloped that they verge on two-dimensionality (including the non-contributory side-story of Sean’s silent wife…ugh.).
Other than the lack of a female presence, the story works wonderfully. The murder mystery includes some good twists and new information throughout. The motives and personalities of the three leads blend and clash nicely, providing a sustained interest in what happens to all of them (including Dave…the kid who rode away with those strangers in the car). The story is mostly solid, but the script is pretty weak. The dialogue is sometimes pretty hokey and it tends to beat the point of the movie into your head. Remember when I told you about Dave? He’s the one who was taken in the car. Yeah. That got annoying, right? Well, imagine two and a half hours of that. Also, the ending was way too random. After the resolution, a series of pointless events occur. The parade seemed utterly useless to me and should have at least been mentioned somewhere prior. One of the characters does a total 180 on what we had seen and goes on some tirade that makes it sound like we’re being set up for a sequel. The whole mess could have been cut out and I wouldn’t have cared and probably would have loved the movie because of it.
On the plus side, director Clint Eastwood paints a lovely neo-noir portrait of Boston. The acting and story is such that you don’t feel the 140 something minute running time. On the negative side, director Clint Eastwood also provides the repetitious score, which does nothing more than add to the minor annoyances.
The movie had its problems and there is much room for improvement. However, it’s not a terrible film. It’s pretty good, but not great. It’s not all it’s hyped up to be. As a kid, Dave was taken away in a car by unknown men.
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