Death Sentence

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Death Sentence
Review (-/10)
(By Erin Cullin)

Whenever I see a truly horrible film, I wonder what the studio executives must have thought when the film was screened for them. Did they realize that it was a horrible film and unleash it upon unsuspecting film audiences anyway? Or, did they actually delude themselves into believing that it was a watchable film?

Is there no quality control in Hollywood?

This week, I had an opportunity to ask myself these questions as I watched what is probably the worst film that I have seen in years. Appropriately enough, it was called Death Sentence.

This film tells the story of Nick Hume (Kevin Bacon), an executive at an insurance company who loses his beloved all-American son when the two stop at a gas station on the ?wrong side of town? and become embroiled in a gang initiation ritual. Wracked with guilt, Hume elects to take justice into his own hands and in the process sparks a fierce war with the gang.

When I first realized that this film was attempting to make an executive from an insurance company appear sympathetic and heroic, I should have walked out of the film. I am a Plaintiff's personal injury lawyer. I should have known that it is impossible to make anyone who works at an insurance company appear sympathetic or heroic.

My second hint should have been the fact that this film was directed by James Wan, the ?mastermind? who brought us the gory ?Saw? series of films. Now, I have to admit that I did not mind the first ?Saw? film. As much as I am not a fan of horror films, I had to give the film credit for its originality and psychological undertones. But, I have not seen a good film by James Wan since that first film, and Death Sentence is no exception.

I cannot think of one good thing to say about Death Sentence. The dialogue was so bad that it was laughable. I watched an advance screening of this film while I was in Toronto for work, and the audience in the theatre that I attended spent as much of the film laughing as they did shifting in their seats during the uncomfortable dramatic scenes. People should not be laughing during a film about a man whose child has been murdered. I do not think that it was the director's intention and the fact that it happened during this film should have been my third red flag that this was simply a bad film.

Death Sentence is the second movie that I have seen this year that I can describe only as a complete waste of film (the other, as you may recall, was ?Georgia Rule?). This is a film that should have gone straight to video (or, better yet, straight into the trash). The best part of the film was the end. As I watched Kevin Bacon in the final frame of the film, I thought that I saw a small smile creep onto his face. Almost like the look of a man whose Death Sentence has just been commuted.

Keyword : He Gang, Eli, Drama, Horror, Kevin Bacon, You, James Wan, Ate, Control, Creep, Death Sentence, Ex, Face, Georgia Rule, Gone, Good, Here, Hero, Holly, I Do, Look, Love, MasterMind, May, Out, Red, Saw, Screen, Sura, Take, Up, War, FILM, Eric, Now, M., Ron, Tia

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