Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Hangman (2017)

One could have fun, I suppose, debating whether HANGMAN, RIGHTEOUS KILL, or 88 MINUTES is the worst serial killer movie of Al Pacino’s career. No question playing that game would be more fun than watching HANGMAN, which is an unbelievable police procedural about a serial killer who — but why not? — uses the game of Hangman (remember from grade school?) to leave clues to his murders.

Pacino, 76 years old at the time of production and an embarrassing mess with his ludicrous hair plugs and lazy Southern accent swiped from the worst works of Steven Seagal, is a retired police detective lured back into duty when homicide dick Karl Urban (McCoy in the STAR TREK movies) discovers their badge numbers left behind at the scene of a murder (the numbers could mean anything, but go along with it). Teamed with an unconvincing Brittany Snow (from the PITCH PERFECT series) as a Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter (snicker), Pacino and Urban plod through the muddled plot as if they had never seen SE7EN.

They’re at the mercy of clumsy writing that not only makes them inept detectives (a suspect is able to attempt suicide because of their carelessness), they don’t even bother to solve the puzzle that the killer generously leaves behind. Half the time, Snow deciphers the clues and hands the solution to the professional detectives. At least the actors are brazen enough to telegraph their embarrassment. Pacino has one eye on his paycheck and the other on his AFI Life Achievement Award in fear someone will take it away.

If you don’t want to play the Pacino serial killer game, you can have some fun playing But How. But how did a train smash into a car without leaving any debris? But how did the killer summon a convenient truck to T-bone the cops pursuing him? But how did the cop, obsessed with finding his wife’s murderer, never notice the giant V carved into her chest? See? Fun!


TN said...

Why do you suppose Pacino keeps doing these movies? He can't need the money. He must know there's no chance of them being good, or box-office hits. He's old. If he's so desperate to work, you'd think there's be no shortage of indie directors who'd love to use him on movies that might actually turn out decent.

englishteacherx said...

Or you could have fun trying decide which are worse, Al Pacino's recent crime thrillers or Deniro's recent comedies.