On the day that a serial killer that he helped put away is supposed to be executed, a noted forensic psychologist and college professor receives a call informing him that he has 88 minutes left to live.
In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead.
In Seattle, the successful forensic psychiatrist and college professor Jack Gramm is in evidence since he was responsible for the condemnation of the serial killer Jon Forster, influencing the jury to sentence him to the death row. Jon accuses Jack of manipulation, inducing one witness and sister of one of his victims to testify against him. On the eve of Jon's execution, Jack receives a phone call telling him that he has only eighty-eight minutes of life, while a killer is copycatting Jon, killing women with the same "modus-operandi" and is investigated by Seattle Slayer Task Force. With the support of associate Shelly Barnes, an FBI agent, his friend Frank Parks, and his assistant Kim Cummings, Jack investigates some weird and problematic students, a security guard of the campus and the woman with whom he had one night stand. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Good for a thriller, not as bad as people are saying
I actually had pretty low expectations for '88 minutes' since Al Pacino's parts in 'two for the money' and 'ocean's 13', for instance, didn't exactly impress me, but it turned out I had more good things than bad things to say about this film after watching it.
In '88 minutes' Al Pacino plays Dr. Jack Gramm, a forensic psychiatrist known for handling cases of serial killers. This time, a convicted psycopath is hours away from his death and raises doubts on Jack's veredict on him, claiming he's innocent, and Jack receives a call warning him he has 88 minutes to live.
In the first place, the initial scene is absolutely unnecessary and predisposed me into thinking the film was going to be a huge mistake, where Al would be behaving like a young man, which is kind of ridiculous at his age. But it wasn't so; it was an isolated scene.
The plot is well built, coherent, and there are no unbelievable facts in it. The atmosphere around the time fading until Jack's death is overwhelming; there isn't a moment in which the viewer won't be excited, waiting for the next move.
Al's acting isn't special; at times I felt like he was numb, sleep-walking, with no reactions whatsoever, but his acting does get better throughout the film, as the suspense gets more intense the interesting part is he does show that old energy from his classic films every now and then.
What really doesn't do it for me, actually, is that, lately it seems that, with very few exceptions, Al's characters not only have pretty much the same personality, but the same looks. He's always tan and wearing black, even in real life ! It sucks because to me, one of the greatest things about Al is his great capacity in characterization. He gets deep into every little detail in his parts, which is why each character looks and acts so different from one another. It seems like that's been lost lately.
Overall '88 minutes' is a good thriller, but I'd recommend it mostly for Pacino fans.
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