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The Pledge
DVD disk
10.07.2004 By: Dr. Drew
The Pledge order
Director:
Sean Penn

Actors:
Jack Nicholson
Robin Wright Penn
Aaron Eckhart

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
On the eve of his upcoming retirement, a homicide detective (Nicholson) finds himself saddled with one last case as he tries to solve a young girl’s brutal rape and murder. When his first suspect commits suicide while in custody, his co-workers seem to believe that this is nothing more than a simple open and shut case. Fueled by a promise he made to the victim’s mother, he now seeks to prove everyone wrong and find the real killer.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
In a word, “no”. Without sugar coating things, this is one awful train wreck of a movie. While I was intrigued by the movie’s great premise, I couldn’t get over how sloppy and poorly written the script was. From the dialogue to the plot development, it’s all over the place. What we do get though, is one of the most far-fetched detective stories to come along in some time as everything seems to be handed to Nicholson on a silver platter. Evidence and clues fall into his lap and he “seemingly” makes all of the right decisions, it’s almost laughable how everything conveniently works out. Worse, director Penn decides to throw in a completely unnecessary romantic twist which had me groaning because it was so painfully set up. His slow direction and choppy editing choices were questionable as well, although I did like the film’s sweeping cinematography. Nicholson registers an extremely underacted and convincing performance (although I was a bit disappointed that there weren’t any classic Jack verbal “explosions”) and I really did love his character just not the horrible vehicle he was put in. To top things off, the movie delivers one of the most painful and unsatisfying endings I’ve seen in a long time. To call it anti-climactic would be a huge understatement. Be forewarned, this movie should be avoided unless you enjoy being tortured by a messy script and bad endings.
THE EXTRAS
If you’re looking for an extra special edition packed with loads and loads of wonderful supplements, you’ve come to the wrong place. The one single extra on this DVD is the movie’s theatrical trailer. Director Sean Penn recently went on record saying: “Frankly, I have never watched a DVD. I might have walked by when the kids were watching some. I wouldn't know how to put them into the machine.” My advice to him? Dude, throw away the old Beta Max and get with the times, your DVDs suck ass!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
From the horrible movie to the stripped down DVD, this release scores low in every possible category. While the audio and video were actually quite good, that isn’t nearly enough to salvage this disaster of a DVD. This one doesn’t even qualify as decent rental material and I’d recommend avoiding this one altogether.
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