Severely abused and traumatized as a child, psychopathic Ray Liotta (as Lee Ray Oliver) is executed as an adult, by lethal injection
Mr. Liotta wakes up in the care of likewise rough-looking but kindly doctor Willem Dafoe (as Michael Copeland). The hardened criminal is invited to participate in a medical research project; by taking a behavior modifying drug, Liotta will suppress violent tendencies and hopefully bring out remorse. Liotta answers, "I like drugs," but is disappointed when Mr. Dafoe tells him the drug has no narcotic effect. He beats up everybody and tries to escape, but Liotta takes his pills...
Liotta proves to be a tough nut to crack, and some feel he is "faking it," but he is eventually deemed ready for the next phase of the experiment. Liotta is given an ankle bracelet, a monitored apartment, and some money to get started. So, what's going on with this dude
the best thing is, you can't really be sure. While Liotta and director Tim Hunter keep it tense and unpredictable, we meet the outside forces. His biggest threat appears to be Tim DeKay (as William "Bill" Caputo), brother of brain-damaged Liotta victim Mark Pickard (as Gary Caputo). Mr. DeKay seems badly in need of Dafoe's behavior modification pills...
Liotta's hair and make-up does become distracting, especially during the second half, because this type of character probably wouldn't wear such obvious eyeliner without some explanation. Maybe he was in an '80s hair band... The "life flashes before your eyes" moment and blood drop forming a "chip on your shoulder" are well done. Characterizations are strong...
From the beginning, we are given layers of nicely developed and carefully revealed facts about the co-starring characters played by Liotta and Dafoe. After Liotta becomes "Joe Monroe", he meets love interest Michelle Rodriguez (as Teresa), who becomes a believable attraction due to her own "starting over" story. It's also interesting to compare their "crime and punishment" state of affairs with DeKay's vengeful low-life. The four are intertwined nicely by writers Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin with director Tim Hunter. Excellent job, but the final sequences include a too definitive shock for one of the characters.
******* Control (12/7/04) Tim Hunter ~ Ray Liotta, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Rodriguez, Tim DeKay
1 out of 2 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.