Se7en (1995)

reviewed by
Andrew Hicks

                       A film review by Andrew Hicks
                Copyright 1996 Andrew Hicks / Fatboy Productions
*** (out of four)

I used to avoid Brad Pitt movies like the plague, like famine, like a Bob Dole presidency... but after watching INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and 12 MONKEYS, I realized the guy actually can act. Imagine my surprise that his success isn't solely based on being a greasy-haired pretty boy. Part of that is also because, with the exception of the dreadful horror flick STUDENT BODIES, he manages to somehow pick compelling and original movies to star in, something you can't always say about the other what-a-cute-butt stars like Mel Gibson (BIRD ON A WIRE) and Tom Cruise (DAYS OF THUNDER).

SEVEN is a stylish thriller you should be able to follow even if you haven't seen ONE through SIX. There's a serial killer on the loose committing brutal murders for each one of the seven deadly sins (kind of like that "Batman" story I wrote four years ago in which the Joker commits crimes based on holidays... I wonder if there's a possibility for a lawsuit.) and detectives Pitt and Morgan Freeman have to discover the freak's identity and stop him.

Here comes the formula we've seen a hundred times before. Rookie cop Pitt has to earn the respect of about-to-retire cop Freeman, who keeps going on and on about how he's only got a week left until retirement. Uh-huh. We know what his final decision will be because no movie cop has ever been able to bring himself to leave the force. We're left to believe that, in the movie realm, police officers die and decompose at the station.

There's also a plotline with Pitt's wife coming to Freeman for advice on how to cope with the coming lifetime of stress and heartache in a miserable, crime-ridden city for them and their unborn children. This is a movie with an incredibly grim view of humanity, potentially depressing for people who don't like to hear about naked, obese men being force-fed to death (because I know that hits a little too close to home for me). The murders in the movie are definitely creative to the point of disgust, I'll give them that. It's hard to work people up about sins like sloth and gluttony, but SEVEN manages to make it interesting.


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