Review Date: July 03, 2002
Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: David Self
Producers: Sam Mendes, Richard and Dean Zanuck
Tom Hanks as Michael Sullivan
Paul Newman as John Rooney
Tyler Hoechlin as Michael Sullivan Jr.
The actors are all quite good, especially Newman who despite the small role, does a lot with it as the sturdy ol' gangster stuck in his old ways. His son in the film, Daniel Craig, also brings a lot of intensity to his part and a portly looking Hanks delivers the goods while remaining straight-faced throughout (it's all about the inner-struggle), but certainly shouldn't wait for Oscar to come calling this year (is he acting with his mustache? You decide!) I also have no idea what would possess Jennifer Jason Leigh, a superb actress in her own right, to take such a vapid, two-line role. Very odd. Jude Law, on the other hand, is gorgeous, as usual. Unfortunately (and you had to see this coming), there wasn't much in the story which actually pulled me into the characters, there weren't any surprises and there certainly wasn't any revelatory resolution that made the two hours which came before it seem as worthwhile as I had hoped. In fact, there were a number of scenes which just seemed "too easy" for the characters, in which one of them would find another one at the drop of a dime, or another would be able to walk into a church and sit right behind a man who had the entire city looking for him, without anybody noticing?? And when all was said and done, I basically turned to my movie-mate and said, "Is that it? I was expecting something a little more powerful." The look of the film is there, definitely one of the better looking movies of the year, the story is technically sound and the characters well-established, with solid performances, but the emotional attachment and suspense is lacking, most of the twists in the script are telegraphed, I was hoping to pull back a gulp or two but it was not to be and some of the resolutions are just too convenient to resonate very deeply. All things considered, I'll take MILLER'S CROSSING or L.A. CONFIDENTIAL over this flick any day.