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Review Hangman (2017): Al Pacino is not even trying any more!

genre: crime, mystery, thriller

How the mighty have fallen! There was a time Al Pacino could do no wrong and even at his worst he would still steal every scene he was in. I wished I could say that this is the case here. Unfortunately he has dropped the ball big time.

I remember Alec Baldwin talking about imitating Al Pacino and how his way of speaking has changed over time. For some reason he has adopted some kind of Southern accent now. To put this in some perspective Al Pacino is born in New York and has been living in New York most of his life if I am not mistaken. Then how on Earth did his accent change? Point is that if you had any doubts it is very apparent here since Al Pacino is saying his dialogue like he is minutes away from singing a country song. If this was the only flaw with his performance I could have lived with his accent. But then there is his stance and demeanour. He looks very exhausted throughout the whole film. Even in his more energetic moments you can tell he is holding back because he doesn't give a damn about anything he is doing. Although there was one brief moment of brilliance which must have been a fluke since he never repeated it. The bags under his eyes are so big that he looks like Droopy. Strangest thing is that there is one flashback scene where he is younger and looks a whole lot better. I couldn't tell if this was a good make-up job or CGI was used. But does beg the question why they didn't make him look better all the time. At least then he would have looked less tired and more interested in catching this highly dangerous serial killer. 

You read it right. This thriller is about a serial killer named Hangman and has called out Detective Ruiney played by Karl Urban and Detective Archer (Pacino). They are accompanied by Christi Davies (Brittany Snow) a reporter who wants to do a piece on detectives and their jobs. Like that has never been done before. What should and could have been compelling and thrilling is the exact opposite. There is very little tension or suspense. But worse those elements are replaced with generic action and some bloody crime scenes with dead bodies. Don't get your hopes up though. None of the crime scenes are gory or shocking. Very basic stuff really. It would be easy to put all the blame on director Johnny Martin and he undoubtedly  is responsible for a large part of this film failing. But it's also the cast that don't feel inspired or motivated. Karl Urban is far too laid back and mostly on automatic pilot. Brittany Snow was actually adequate but to be fair doesn't add anything significant to the dynamics other than the super melodramatic scene where she opens up about her reason for being there. It's not that it didn't feel sincere. But more that it was out of place. It had very little to do with the serial killer plot. Urban and Pacino are supposed to be old partners but they don't come across as such. There is zero chemistry between them and both of them didn't even care. Can you blame them for this? Actually no. The plot what should and could have been the highlight is as generic as they come. Very little is done to make everything fresh or creative. Sarah Shahi was good but like Snow could have been left out. To be fair though she was one of the few characters that looked like someone who belonged there. 

The serial killer element itself is incredibly dull and unimaginative. There are a few moments where the audience is given a taste of what could have been. Only apart from one ridiculous twist nothing is put in to make this serial killer menacing. No red herrings, no brutal murders, no tension and thrills. No epic moments between serial killer and the detectives. Absolutely nothing. Then what is the point? 

My expectations weren't that high to begin with but I should have known better. It takes itself far too seriously but never adds anything substantial. It doesn't even have that so bad it becomes good vibe. I hate to say it but Hangman is a giant waste of your time. I really tried hard to like this film but I simply couldn't. I would go so far to say that this would not even be suited on rainy Sunday's or very late at night. Unless you are out of sleeping pills and you need to be knocked out quickly. For that it's perfect. 

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Yorkie said...

I think you are totally wrong and to the point of being cruel.Pachino is 77 years old after all. I think he did very well. You no doubt are a young person that has seen much blood and Gore in your short life. My husband and I enjoyed the the movie as I am sure many other people did also. You would have rated many older movies with Joan and Betty very low I am sure.Today's movies are too explicit and leave nothing to the imagination.I am sure you don't agree, but your opinion is no better than mine. Get a job with some relevance.

chrichtonsworld.com said...

I am definitely not young. And if you read my review properly you would have seen that I am pointing out the lack of multiple elements that could make a thriller compelling. Blood and gore can be nice but is not something that is necessary for me. However if you are going to tell a story about a vicious and violent serial killer that has to become apparent. Yes Al Pacino is 77. But he showed more passion and skill in The Irishman. And unlike you I am capable of telling when someone is giving it his all and when not. And he didn't gave a damn about this project.

Not that I need to but I want to state that in general I regard older films higher since they usually have been made with more care and quality than most films these days. Actors like Al Pacino can make the difference if they care.




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