Rama’s Screen: Movie Review 88 Minutes

All work and no play makes the Young & Successful feel unbalanced! To rescue our overworked souls, YSN member and movie aficionado Rama Tampubolon discusses the latest hot topics and movie reviews every Thursday on Waste Time Wisely. He runs the movie review and discussion blog, Rama’s Screen, and was featured in “United 300,” which won for “Best Spoof” at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards.

I never thought I’d say this but I hate this movie — and I don’t care that Al Pacino is in it.

88 Minutes is one of the worst thrillers I’ve ever seen and I’m usually a big fan of thriller movies and Al Pacino. For something that’s supposed to keep you on the edge of your seat for a short amount of time, it sure doesn’t give much suspense. The story is not that clever and , if you’re smart enough, you’ll crack who the villain is way before the end of the movie. And after the movie ends, you’ll want your 88 Minutes back.

College professor Jack Gramm (Pacino) is also FBI forensic psychiatrist who put a serial killer on death row. The convicted person accuses Jack of manipulating the witness to testify against him. One day he receives a death threat from a stranger saying that he has only 88 minutes left to live. Now he has to solve a murder, his own, and time is not on his side. Tick tock, tick tock…

This movie was released on DVD last year in other countries so I actually saw this movie months ago. The studio, for some reason, decided to release it in theaters here. They should’ve kept this one on DVD.

Let’s just state the obvious: the movie seems lazy. It doesn’t show enough effort to keep up with the supposedly 88 minutes that the main character has left before he dies and I blame the writer for this. There are many moments in this movie where Al is just sitting and talking (or his usual yelling), and we’re thinking, man this guy sure wastes the time he’s got left on Earth!

And then all of a sudden, screenwriter Gary Scott Thompson throws in a few quick gunshot scenes, explosions, or surprises here and there (plus what appears to be the whole investigation part), but those moments come and go briefly… very briefly… and then back to the usual talking and yelling scenes.

Jack Bauer from TV’s 24 has more adrenaline rushes happening in one hour than this.

The directing is weak, which I understand because if you look up director Jon Avnet‘s short resume, you’d definitely get the impression that the man is inexperienced, especially when it comes to making thriller movies.

There were a few movies in the past starring the great Al Pacino did that I wasn’t too happy about. Sea of Love and People I Know are some of the titles. But this… this is the beats them all.

The supporting cast is just plain awful. Benjamin McKenzie should go back to acting school or whatever it is that can help him out. And how on earth did Leelee Sobieski ever get nominated for Golden Globe?! Her performance is bland. And what’s with that ugly tie that Al Pacino’s wearing? Somebody should slap the costume designer across the face. The music doesn’t help either.

You know what I think watching this whole movie feels like?? It’s like watching a bad episode of Law & Order.