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Panic (2001)
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Review Date: November 04, 2001
Director: Henry Bromell
Writer: Henry Bromell
Producers: Matt Cooper, Andrew Lazar, Lori Miller
Actors:
William H. Macy
John Ritter
Neve Campbell
Review:
Roger Ebert gave this movie four stars (a perfect score). Many of the schmoes on our board had seen this movie and told me to check it out. Well, I finally got around to renting this puppy, and even though I was pretty intrigued by the story line and was impressed by most of the performances...the film simply didn't do all that much for me.

On the upside, I gotta give it up to all the players in this movie. William H. Macy plays the perfect "confused" guy, a man who's been dealt the card of a hitman his whole life (his dad taught him to be one at an early age), but is suddenly not sure if he wants to continue killing people for a living. Neve Campbell, surprisingly potent as the young love interest, Tracy Ullman as the ignored wife and even John Ritter (yup, that's Jack from "Three's Company") as the shrink to whom Macy's character starts to confess his feelings ("Sopranos" anyone?).

I also liked the story, appreciated the way that Macy's character was shown to have a regular "family life", but also be a cold-blooded killer "on the side". I liked the whole "father known best" angle that they used as well, especially the flashbacks to the kid's early years, where the father taught him how to use a gun, etc...

But for the most part, the film moved too slowly for me. Believe it or not, it only ran about 83 minutes, but it felt like about two hours. Every now and then I felt myself saying "oooookay, but where's this all going?", and not in a good way! And when the end did finally come, I certainly appreciated how it finished, but wasn't really all that suprised by the turn of events.

Some plot points also bothered me like the whole "lesbian" thing that didn't really seem to have much place in the movie, the reasoning behind Macy's dad being so pissed at him wanting to quit (why should he care anyway...he's old and seemed to be living a-okay) and the annoying son who somehow had an extremely deep intellect and as a 6-year old would ask his father questions like "You've been acting strange lately, is there something wrong?" and "You seem to have a lot on your mind".

The generic title and straight-to-video production values could also have been improved upon, in fact, maybe a little more "style" and better pacing is what this flick could've used a little more of...

But as it stands, this film is still worth renting and should definitely be checked out by anyone looking for an original tale of a "regular" hitman wrestling around with a mid-life crisis.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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