Directed by: Jon Avnet. Cast: Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski, William Forsythe, Deborah Kara Unger. Rated: R. Running Time: 108 minutes.
It seems like a topsy turvy world where an Al Pacino movie doesn’t make the grade, but I have to say that this was the case with 88 Minutes. I can’t in all conscience say that the acting was terrible as far as anyone went – the fault was all in the story. It was pretty standard fare with a criminal psychologist getting threatened, having to solve a murder, and a criminal trying to make sure he didn’t get executed for murder by making it look like the real murderer was still at large.
For me it was the ending that didn’t sell it for me – the ending ruined the film; made the whole enterprise a waste of time. Yeah, it’s one of those – you might be happy sitting through it, because it is watchable, has a few twists and turns to keep your interest, but as far as I’m concerned all that was thrown away on the ending.
Do I feel more cheated if a film had promise and cocks it up at the end than I do if it is bad the whole way through? Maybe. If the film had been brilliant all the way through then I would have wanted to put my foot through the screen, but that wasn’t the case – Pacino’s hair gives a better performance than he does (half the budget must have gone on hairspray). This is a film you should avoid spending money on if you can – wait for it to come on TV, don’t make the effort to get it on video or on cable. There are better films to spend on, some of them with Al firing on all cylinders.