88 Minutes

Jon Avnet’s cheesy new thriller is 105 minutes long, and I feared that 100 of them would be eaten up by Al Pacino chewing scenery. Alas, it’s worse than that. Pacino again goes for world-weary, heavy-lidded ennui, this time as Jack Gramm, a Seattle forensic psychiatrist and professor in symbiotic thrall to the death-row serial killer (cyborgian Neal McDonough) he helped put away. Dark secrets flow out of Gramm’s past in perfect parallel with the blood that pours out of the young female victims of a copycat killer. Gary Scott Thompson’s screenplay is laughably expositor, and Avnet indulges in endless cutaways to the faces of various nubile adjuncts, frozen in attitudes of studied ambiguity. With its lumbering black humor and phony pretense to moral complexity, 88 Minutes is an ugly specimen. There is, however, one way in which the movie accidentally works like a charm — as a twisted essay on the aging man’s fear of, and desire for, the young female body. We may have to sit through worse films this year, but with any luck, none will be as idiotically misogynist as this one.

Categories: Movies