88 Minutes

Al baby, I love you. You know I do. You and Bobby D are two of my faves. *Sigh* I wanted so much more from 88 Minutes. It wasn’t COMPLETELY terrible, but it was not the smart, entertaining thriller I’d hoped for. A very mediocre script led to many little details that didn’t add up or just didn’t make sense. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself; let me set it up for you in case you don’t know the plot.

Al Pacino (most recently of Ocean’s 13) is Jack Gramm, a psychologist and college professor whose testimony against a serial killer named Jon Forster resulted in his death sentence. On the day of Forster’s scheduled execution, Gramm receives a phone call from an anonymous caller informing him that he has 88 minutes to live. What follows next is a series of attempts to both frame Dr. Gramm for the serial murders and kill him. We’ve seen people be terrorized over the phone before (Die Hard With a Vengeance and Phone Booth instantly come to mind), and I think the idea is a good one. The problem with 88 minutes is that the cast is alternately annoying (Gramm’s teaching assistant), clichéd (the FBI agents questioning Gramm), or just plain stupid. So many little things failed to make sense, and I can’t discuss all of them here. I’ll give you one though. There’s a part where Gramm pays a cab driver to let him borrow his cab, but the driver sits in the back seat. Why the F did this happen? Gramm didn’t speed, so it wasn’t because he needed to drive the way he wanted; he let the cabbie remain in the car – so obviously the destination was not a secret; and he never used the cabbie as a distraction or as a means to trick the person who had been threatening and trying to kill him. It might seem insignificant, but it jumped out at me and I thought it was ridiculous. I thought the movie’s premise was a good one, but the execution was rather disappointing. Sorry Al, although your presence alone was enough to get me in the theater, it is not enough to save this movie. 6 out of 10, and that’s generous.

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