Review Date: December 10, 1999
Director: Frank Darabont
Writer: Frank Darabont
Producers: Frank Darabont and David Valdes
Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb
David Morse as Brutus Howell
Michael Clarke Duncan as John Coffey
A seven-foot death row inmate is discovered to have secret healing powers.
This film is slow, drawn-out, boring, uninteresting, unexciting, predictable and topped with a couple of one-dimensional "evil" characters. Its only positive attribute lies in its actors who all do credible jobs and its message of hope and belief in miracles. The real miracle of my night was the fact that I did not fall asleep during this straightforward, unimpressive film about a guy with special powers who we never truly understand or care about. Of course, much like all other death row cell blocks, this one is filled with decent inmates who all happen to be "misunderstood", except for one cookie-cutter crazy guy who is evil personified. And let's not forget all the guards on death row, who also happen to be angels from the Heaven above, except for one cookie-cutter crazy guard who is also evil personified (and is there any reason why there are about six guards when there appears to be no more than three inmates???). Am I supposed to identify with anyone in this film? Or even more importantly, am I supposed to give a rat's ass about anyone in this film? Well, if I was, I sure missed that boat, because the only thing that I ended up caring about during this entire picture was the obscene amount of fat that Tom Hanks has been able to burrow under his loose chin.
Furthermore, there is absolutely no reason in the world why director Frank Darabont needed to take three hours and ten minutes out of anyone's life to present this story. In fact, the story is empty within itself. I truly did not get anything out of the film other than the fact that there is a guy on death row who has special powers to heal, and we are left wondering if he should still be executed or not. Wow. How interesting . The plot's utter predictability is also at fault here with one guess as to whom is to get healed by the gentle monster in this film (we are told that one certain lady has a tumor early on in the movie). Whip out those thinking caps, kids! Hmmm, and I wonder what will happen to those two cookie-cutter "evil" guys who have nothing in their system but hate and negativity. Hmmmm, now think hard here, boys and girls. What a crock! I am guessing that this film was supposed to be some three-hour exercise in spirituality, but unfortunately for me, it was neither spiritual or the least bit engaging. In fact, it was one big bore. I didn't see the point of the movie, I didn't see the point of the story and I certainly didn't see the point in Tom Hanks' big double-chin. All in all, a bad movie starring some great actors doing solid work, especially Michael Clarke Duncan as the man of the hour, John Coffey. Give that man an award or something!
(c) 2013 Berge Garabedian