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Lee Ray Oliver grew up from abused kid to sociopath, inevitably condemned to death, but wakes up in the morgue after the 'lethal' injection. Dr. Michael Copeland offers him a choice: the real killer drug or 'volunteering' as life-long test person for his pharmaceutic experiment, Anagress, meant to suppress violent tendencies but side-effects unknown. After vicious escape attempts, Lee Ray finally develops genuine remorse and tries to make-up with Gary Caputo, who Lee shot in the head, leaving him mentally a child. Brother Bill Caputo's hate for ruining both of their lives is however redoubled, with tragic consequences. Written by
In the power of the state I am hereby authorized put you, Lee Ray Oliver, to death by lethal injection. Is there anything you'd like to say?
Lee Ray Oliver:
Fuck you! Fuck every last one of you!
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"Control" had a good premise and idea. With Ray Liota playing a character sentenced to death but who is given a chance for freedom if he participates in an experiment to suppress his violent urges. What could have been an interesting character study about redemption ultimately became a sub-par often melodramatic movie that failed to deliver even the slightest bit of inside on the subject.
Liota stars as Lee Ray Oliver a murderer sentenced to death but given a second chance if he participates in a chemical behavioral modification program run by Dr. Michael Copeland (played by William Defoe). The movie's first problem becomes quite apparent after a short while, Liota's character isn't portrayed as a truly evil person, yes he is shown killing people but only members of the mafia, in fact his only civilian victim doesn't even die. Which from the viewer's perspective partly ruins the motivation for the treatment Lee Ray is undertaking.
The movie's plot feels confusing not because its hard to understand but because it doesn't know what direction to take. There are actually several sub-plots in it all of which after the final scene feel unfinished, and while some could have played a role in showing Liota's character new found compassion, rather ineffectively if I might add, there is the one dealing with Defoe's character that doesn't have any sort of impact on the central plot. The movie's direction does nothing to cloud the badly written plot, with a heavy dose of mediocrity it feels like you're watching a made for TV production.
The only reason this is worth watching is the acting. With some decent to good performances by Liota, Defoe and Rodriguez (who plays Lee Ray's girlfriend in one of the sub-plots). Regrettably the supporting cast fails to keep on their level, making a lot of the supporting characters annoying or just simply badly acted.
In the end "Control" fails to impress or use it's interesting ala "Clockwork Orange" premise. Giving us a final product whose melodramatic ending doesn't succeed in achieving any sort of emotional response from the viewer.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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