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Seth Warner has reached the end of his rope. Ever since his wife died two years earlier, his world has been in turmoil. He is despondent, his career has fallen apart, even his house has been destroyed. There seems to be nothing left for him to live for. Confused and angry after two years of suffering, he finally directs his wrath at God from the rooftop of his apartment building in New York City. In the midst of a wild thunderstorm he demands to know why he has been betrayed by the god he has believed in and honored his whole life. God's answer is to strike down Seth's dog in a bolt of lightning. Pushed beyond his limits, Seth decides to respond to his years of torment by breaking each of the biblical Ten Commandments. While staying with his sister-in-law, Rachel, much to the chagrin of her shifty reporter husband, Harry, he systematically sets out to break each commandment one by one. A natural at breaking commandments, Harry is drawn to Seth's mission in the hopes of using it to ... Written by
'Commandments' is a wishy-washy mixture of drama that has no weight to it and comedic touches that aren't funny. I'm not really sure what the tone is supposed to be, but what comes across is a middle of the road and somewhat boring film with a doodle-doo score that underlines the film's inconsequential nature.
Aidan Quinn acts as though he's just been woken from a deep sleep as a man who decides after suffering various calamities (drowned wife, wrecked house, dog with a bad leg) that he's had it with God, and sets out to break all ten of the commandments. Moving in with his wife's sister (Courteney Cox, right up against the limits of her range) and her errant husband (Anthony LaPaglia, who's okay I guess), Quinn enacts his plan in tedious fashion until the bizarre ending comes out of bloody nowhere.
Maybe writer/director Daniel Taplitz thought that the religious angle would give the film some depth. It doesn't. It's a painless experience, watchable in an unengaging kind of way; but there's nothing to get hold of, in part because Quinn is a flavourless actor and in part because there's just not enough meat on the film's bones.
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