The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

88 Minutes

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Judy Thorburn

"88 Minutes" - Almost Not Worth The Time

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"88 MINUTES" - ALMOST NOT WORTH THE TIME

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

After his conviction of being a serial rapist/killer who tortured his victims, Jon Forster (piercing blue eyed Neal McDonough) is on death row thanks to the testimony of his last victim’s twin sister and that of Dr. Jack Gramm, a forensic psychiatrist for the FBI and college professor portrayed by Al Pacino who convinced the jury of Forster’s guilt with his scenario of the crime.

Nine years later, on the day of the Seattle Slayer’s execution, Gramm receives a series of death threats on his cell phone beginning with the first that warns he has only 88 minutes to live. You’d think that the best place to go for safety would be the police. No, that would be too simple and easy, so to create some suspense and continue the storyline, Gramm proceeds to take it upon himself to try and figure out who is behind the threat and track down the perpetrator from a list of possible suspects.

Throwing a wrench into Gramm’s dilemma is a copy cat murderer on the loose; giving Forster something to play up as justification for his innocence and to orchestrate a campaign against Gramm as a lying opportunist. Could it be that someone on the outside is working on Forster’s behalf, and as payback for his conviction is setting up evidence to implicate Gramm? The question is who and why?

Gramm, an aging bachelor with a history of womanizing, is surrounded by a bevy of lovely ladies; Kim Cummings (Alicia Witt), his teaching assistant who admits to having a crush on Gramm as well as having a stalking ex-husband; brooding and mysterious student Lauren Douglas (Leelee Sobieski); the college dean Carol Johnson (Deborah Carol Unger); and Gramm’s loyal secretary, Shelly Barnes (Amy Brenneman). Could the altered voice caller belong to one of these or maybe another one of his students, Mike (Benjamin McKenzie, from TV’s The OC)?

Two words come to mind – red herrings. In fact, there are more than usual in this film, which is OK and could have heightened interest, if much of what is going on with these characters made much sense. Problem is, writer Gary Scott Thompson’s script is disjointed, confusing, and overflowing with plot holes, contrivances and bad dialogue. Jon Avnet doesn’t help the matter with his poor directing which is evident in almost every scene. How else can we excuse the unconvincing (make that embarrassing) acting by most of the supporting cast who are capable of more and scenes that are implausible. It is too bad, because the basic premise and foundation was set for a good story that had lots of potential in the hands of the right director.

While the clock is ticking down, and Gramm is trying to figure out what the heck is going on, (not unlike the rest of us in the audience), he manages to dodge a bullet, getting nearly run over by a motorcycle as well as a speeding fire engine, narrowly escape a car bomb, and get this - for only $100 and a tip, bribe a taxi driver to borrow his cab in a race through the streets.

In spite of 88 Minutes being a disappointing cat and mouse type thriller with very little thrills I have to say that Al Pacino, sporting a goatee and a thick head of untamed hair, drew my interest and therefore made the film watchable. For him alone, 88 Minutes (which in reality runs 102 minutes) is worth the time.