DEATH SENTENCE: DVD
Nick Hume (Kevin Bacon) is a responsible executive living a contented life with his wife (Kelly Preston) and two teenagers, Lucas (Jordan Garrett) and Brendan (Stuart Lafferty). Stopping for petrol in a strange neighbourhood one evening, Hume witnesses the brutal murder of his oldest son, Brendan. The killer, Joe Darley (Matt O'Leary), is caught but when Hume learns that a plea bargain will see Dailey free after short jail time, he sabotages the trial and goes after him, setting in motion a bloody, brutal war between Darley, his gang and Hume, catapulting them all to a point of no return.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
James Wan of Saw fame has fashioned a gritty and gripping revenge fantasy out of Ian Jeffers adaptation of Robert Garfield's novel, and was smart enough to cast an actor of Kevin Bacon's talent and persona to make us sit up and take notice. Bacon begins to transform the mild mannered business executive Nick Hume soon after his son's slaying by a gang of thugs in a remote gas station. The transformation is complete only after a series of clashes with the skin headed gang, ending up with Nick shaving his own, by now damaged head, in none too subtle symbolism. Indeed, one of the dying bad guys even tells Nick, "Look at you, you've ended up like one of us."
We're emphatically on Nick's side of corse, a nice middle class family destroyed by these hooligans. But there are some layers that survive from the novel, some complexities that gnaw away at the simplistic reading.
There is also a terrific, gruff characterisation by John Goodman as the big daddy of the two ringleader brothers, who provides a couple of twisting surprises to the plot. Kelly Preston has limited screentime but is memorable, and Aisha Tyler makes a great impression as the detective on the case.
Solid technicals and a pounding score (when appropriate) blast the film to a satisfying conclusion, albeit many deaths and gunfights later. Excellent action sequences and top notch gunfight in a derelict warehouse brings the film to a bang-up climax.
Published: May 1, 2008
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DEATH SENTENCE: DVD (MA)
CAST: Kevin Bacon, Kelly Preston, Garrett Hedlund, Jordan Garrett, Stuart Lafferty, Aisha Tyler, John Goodman, Matt O'Leary, Edi Gathegi
PRODUCER: Ashok Amritraj, Howard Baldwin, Karen Elsie Baldwin
DIRECTOR: James Wan
SCRIPT: Ian Jeffers (novel by Brian Garfield)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: John R. Leonetti
EDITOR: Michael N. Knue
MUSIC: Charlie Clouser
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Julie Berghoff
RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes
PRESENTATION: 2.40:1, 16:9 enhanced; DD 2.0, DD 5.1
SPECIAL FEATURES: CC
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
DVD RELEASE: February 27, 2008