Death Sentence (2007)

Kevin Bacon takes on the role of a vengeful father in Death Sentence, a revenge thriller directed by James Wan. Bacon plays Nick Hume, a man whose life is in complete order with a wife and two sons. But one day, Nick's oldest son Brendan is murdered when he was found in the wrong place at the wrong time during a gang induction ritual. Nick witnesses this tragic event, and catches the man who committed the crime. But due to some underthought plot contrivance, he is let free. It is at this time that Nicholas decided if the law won't help him, he will simply have to deal out justice himself. Cue the increase in body count. After incurring the wrath of the angry gang leader, Nicholas must fight to save himself and the rest of his family from the same fate as his son.
A movie that takes itself way too seriously, Death Sentence rides on the train tracks of implausibility as Hume transforms into a near superhero on his vengeful quest. How one could drive a small car straight through a van, splitting the van completely in two, and simply walk away from it unscathed is beyond me. Kevin Bacon delivers a performance verging on melodrama as he takes on the task of the action hero. It is very difficult to accept Bacon into this role, because he doesn't exactly give off the bad boy tone...especially since he starred in Footloose.
Wan, director of films such as Saw and Dead Silence, usually knows how to keep a viewer on edge through every turn of the story. There is no exception here, as his directing style saves this movie from becoming an overly dramatic, self indulgent bore. My heart remained at an upbeat pace throughout a very well shot chase scene through a parking garage. But even Wan is not without fault, as he often indulges in the well known cliches of directing. There is just something so familiar of slow motion walking in the rain.
Aisha Tyler has a supporting role as a police detective whose most effective weapon is giving a stern talking to. As far as police work goes, not so much. As a matter of fact, all the police in this movie are portrayed as completely helpless and deeply inept. The most notable performance is this movie was given by John Goodman, who plays the gang leaders father.
Goodman's performance was above average, as he was able to characterize an acrimonious character, but still didn't take the role too seriously. It was a relief to see one person in the film with a bit of a sense of humor.
Death Sentence starts off very slow, but ends with a very loud bang once Bacon's character starts his slaughter of gang members, ultimately leaving you with a subpar ending. Overall, this movie was OK, but I would recommend renting it, don't waste your money. My rating (5/10)

1 comment:

  1. I thought this was pretty good and Kevin Bacon did a nice job in it. The gangsters were weak, but everything was rather realistic. John Goodman was lame though.


Movies given a 10/10

  • Milk
  • In Bruges
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Dark Knight
  • Iron Man
  • No Country For Old Men
  • The Shining
  • A Clockwork Orange