Movie Poster
Patty Jenkins
Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Scott Wilson, Pruitt Taylor Vince
109 min.


Now this is a shitty movie. I'd rank this one step above Maniac (but not the right step)(and Maniac is only even has a cult following for the Savini gore anyway), and a whole bunch of steps below Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.

I'll start out with a positive (okay, I will follow my (overtly negative) introduction with a positive): the makeup in this movie is convincing. They've made Charlize Theron from a generically unattractive Hollywood waif into a specific sort of butch middle aged Molly-Hatchet-fan unattractive. And the jowl prostheses stay on in the shower: Now that's Oscar worthy.

Instead their Oscar nomination is for Best Actress. A lot of people have said a lot of things about Charlize Theron's performance, no one mentioned that she stole it from Michael Keaton. That's right, half way through the movie you realize the first female serial killer is really Beetlejuice. She's got it all, the same hair, the same jerky posturing, the same tight lipped smirking, the same accent, everything. She was a few crotch grabs from being genuinely indistinguishable. This wasn't revelatory, but I'm not sure the Academy can tell "Acting" from "Transformation". Just because somebody puts on 50 pounds, shaves their eyebrows, and wears disfiguring makeup doesn't mean its a good performance. Not that its terrible. Theron's performance is certainly better than the movie surrounding it. Sometimes she has a reasonably convincing look of desparation in her eyes. We just wonder if it's part of her performance.

And who the fuck thought it would be a good idea for BT to score this movie? The score has all the subtlety of one of those Haunted House Sounds cds, without the craft. Was BT's mom the producer? He turned your run of the mill shitty movie into a train wreck of bombastic sentimentality (its a serial killer movie, for Christ's sake). But its not even consistent, it veers, nay, careens from bombastic to entirely ineffectual, all but absent, right before us.

The movie combines all the pretense of "Important" Spielberg with all the talentlessness of those Arby's oven mitt commercials. The tragically ill-concieved dialogue, the self-appointed Significance, the bug-eyed mugging. And the hand-held camera, oh lord the hand-held camera. Was this filmed by the cinematographer of those Nicorette commercials that tried to emmulate NYPD Blue?

In conclusion, this movie is shitty. The only part of the movie that's genuine is how unpleasant it is, this movie is not at all fun in any way (which may have been the point, the failure is that it is not at all fun or interesting in any way). Go rent Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and save yourself a few dollars.

Pat Jackson