Review Date: April 05, 1999
Director: Gregory Hoblit
Writer: Nicholas Kazan
Producers: Charles Roven, Dawn Steel
Prize cop is haunted by the soul of a murderer whom he helped capture. Even after the execution of said killer, the spirit of the man returns in others, and is passed around different bodies by the slightest touch.
A fascinating and creepy premise, as well as an authentic performance by Washington, and an inventive stylish look, wrestle this film from its "just another serial killer" roots, and qualify it as an interesting, occasionally suspenseful supernatural thriller. Some aspects of the film didn't work for me, like Washington's home life, the way the killer kept leaving cryptic clues which Washington always ended up finding and solving (how original!), and the final, final scene, which seemed tacked on for obvious reasons. That aside, the film kept me interested with its original tale of the Azazel spirit switch, a little action, and some suspense. But I will admit that I felt like they could've done so much more with the subject matter at hand. Other than Washington, the cast were throwaways like Gandolfini in a funny-looking fu-manchu mustache, Donald Sutherland playing yet another authoritative gruffy ol' coot, and John Goodman stapling himself into his mainstay role of the main cop's buddy partner. I also enjoyed the resolution that Washington deduced by the film's slick conclusion. All in all, a decent serial killer thriller that doesn't come close to the ultimate in the genre, SEVEN (10/10), but does come up with an intriguing premise, a solid performance from Washington, and just enough suspense to keep you on your toes for its two hour runtime. Just remember..."Time is on your side". :)
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian