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Running Time:
1 hour, 50 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for strong bloody brutal violence and pervasive language.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This combination of sentimental melodrama and violent psychological thriller results in a confused twisted mess that becomes increasingly preposterous.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Includes both theatrical and unrated movie versions; Fox Movie Channel presents: Making a Scene; Fox Movie Channel presents: Life After Film School With Kevin Bacon; Behind-the-scenes webisodes

Kevin Bacon ... Nick Hume
Garrett Hedlund ... Billy Darley
Kelly Preston ... Helen Hume
Jordan Garrett ... Lucas Hume
Stuart Lafferty ... Brendan Hume
Aisha Tyler ... Detective Wallis
John Goodman ... Bones Darley
Matt O'Leary ... Joe Darley

Death Sentence
Kevin Bacon (“Mystic River") plays Nick Hume, a mild-mannered risk-benefits executive at a big-time firm as well as a happy husband and father with a lovely home in the suburbs. He clearly adores his wife Helen (Kelly Preston "What a Girl Wants") and his two sons, golden boy Brendan (newcomer Stuart Lafferty), a high school hockey star, and his younger, more sensitive brother Lucas (Jordan Garrett "Thank You for Smoking").

Unhappily, during a father-son outing as they drive through a bad area of town, Brendan is killed in an apparent gas station robbery by one of the gang members, Joe Darley (Matt O’Leary "Brick"). When Nick learns from an Assistant D.A. that Darley might take a plea bargain in order to get a reduced sentence of just three years, he decides not to identify the sleazebag but instead get his revenge by giving him the punishment he deserves. That initiates a war between Nick and Joe’s older brother, gang leader Billy Darley (Garrett Hedlund "Four Brothers"), that winds up threatening Nick's wife and son. And the upshot of all this is a full-scale battle between Nick and the whole gang in an abandoned hospital.

Sounds a lot like “Death Wish,” doesn't it? But it’s even dumber. In fact, you could say that the entire plot is based on the premise that everyone in the film, including Nick, his family, Joe, Billy and the whole gang, as well as the cops led by Detective Wallis (Aisha Tyler - Mother Nature in "The Santa Clause 2"), are complete idiots. They don't all just do everything wrong, but they do it really badly. They've even thrown in an entire subplot involving a sleazy drug dealer-gun merchant named Bones (John Goodman "Barton Fink"), whom Nick visits to buy guns and ammo, and who turns out to be Billy’s long lost father. And there's a whole parking garage chase sequence, which is supposed to be tension-filled, but is so ludicrous that it’s hard not to laugh out loud at it.

It's difficult to believe that this film was directed by James Wan, who brought us the terror-driven "Saw." It’s also a pity that a fine actor like Kevin Bacon is trapped in such a piece of junk. His role is so poorly written and ineptly shot that it’s embarrassing. He has to recite a hospital-room speech that sounds like a bad acting exercise, and in some of the later sequences he’s photographed in such poses of grim determination that it make the whole film seem ridiculous. Besides a a courtroom scene that has a real surprise and a few other melodramatic moments, this is basically just a movie about a lot of people shooting at each other.

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