88 Minutes – Film Review
Director: Jon Avnet
Cast: Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, Amy Brenneman
by Matt Callard
Move over Battlefield Earth, there’s a new turkey in town. Pacino is a forensic psychologist stalked by an anonymous caller who informs him he’s got 88 minutes to live and, yes, everyone is a suspect.
This is a creative black hole of a movie. Let’s count the ways: at 68 Pacino is no action hero. He spends the duration of the film shouting into his mobile phone, seemingly on the brink of a coronary. The screenplay is so baggy and confusing the only way you can follow the plot is through a sort of cinematic instinct – you’ve seen this stuff before, so you kinda know what’s going on.
The murders of scantily-clad beauties are nothing short of snuff porn. The serial killer is the most boring of all time – and he’s got the lamest catchphrase. Get ready (and try not to cringe): “Tic-Toc, Doc.”
“Most ludicrous plot device ever”
As the movie plays out in real-time he rings Pacino with remorseless frequency. So much so that instead of trembling with fear as the phone rings, you actually think: “Oh no, not him again.” And anyway, said phone pest is blissfully unaware that half the audience have already guessed his identity and the other half have either left or nodded off.
Plus, there’s the most ludicrous plot device ever involving Pacino’s post-coital expenditure and a syringe. And let’s not mention the tedious, tagged-on back story, the plethora of script inconsistencies, the idiotic denouement.
In fact, the best thing about 88 Minutes is Pacino’s hair, which is utterly compelling – like a blow dryer’s journey into hell. Nuff said.