88 Minutes – Al Pacino week

This week is Al Pacino week. 88 minutes is currently available on instant Netflix and it couldn’t be worse than yesterday’s Righteous Kill – or could it?

88 Minutes

AVOID: 88 Minutes (2007) – Rated R for disturbing violent content, brief nudity and language.

“Jack Gramm (Al Pacino) — a college professor and occasional forensic psychologist for the FBI — finds himself in a race against time when he receives a mysterious phone call telling him he has exactly 88 minutes left to live. Can he track down his would-be killer before the clock runs out? Amy Brenneman, Leelee Sobieski, Deborah Unger and William Forsythe co-star in this real-time thriller from director Jon Avnet.”

“Quack quack, Dr. Gramm” (Yes the scriptwriter actually wrote that)

Let’s get this travesty of a movie started right. They show us that Dr. Gramm’s (Al Pacino) ‘girlfriend’ is very flexible and much, much younger. She is played by Leah Cairns, age 33 and Al Pacino is 67. This is another example of pandering to male wish fulfillment (see yesterday’s post). I do have to note that he tells Kim (Alicia Witt) that he is too old for her and Alicia Witt is 32.

I hardly know where to begin. This movie doesn’t make any sense on any level. The killer is after Dr. Gramm because of his damaging testimony in Jon Forster’s capital murder case. The killer isn’t targeting the police who caught Forster, the victim who survived, the jury that found Forster guilty, Forster’s attorney who failed or the judge that sentenced him to death.

They make Jon Forster unbelievably erudite. He gets nationwide press conferences while on death row. The press also gives credence to the supposition that he is not guilty. He is practically a celebrity as is Dr. Gramm. When is the last time you heard about a forensic psychiatrist being the subject of headlines?

Director Jon Avnet lets Al Pacino chew the scenery here even more than he does in Righteous Kill. They also introduce about a billion suspects for us to wade through. The plot necessitates a very intimate understanding of Gramm’s life and secrets as well as other omniscient details. This film is just dreadful on all accounts.

People Watch: Look for Neal McDonough as convicted killer Jon Forster.