This movie was terrible. I was fooled into watching because I think Kevin Bacon is excellent, and the high scores on this site. So I felt compelled to help lower the average score, and warn as many people away as I can.
I like revenge movies. I liked concept of a man who's family is killed, who turns into a super-vigilante. I am willing to suspend a great deal of disbelief to enjoy this kind of escapist fantasy.
This movie, however, was nearly unwatchable for me. Suspending disbelief is one thing, but this movie pushed way too far.
First of all, as others have mentioned, the police/da are laughable. They are so completely ineffectual, and unwilling even to try to stop the criminals that it defied all of my efforts to swallow the plot. I mean, if this were, say ... Gotham city, I might have been OK with it, because the city depicted in that movie is not _meant_ to be realistic. Rampant crime and corruption are expected, which is why they need to use the bat signal every so often to call in a superhero.
Death Sentence is placed more as a "drama" than "superhero fantasy," and that's why the same sort of attitude that "the police department is _powerless_ to stop the violent gang members" is, well, ridiculous. Especially considering that there's only like 10 criminals involved in the entire operation. And as far as I can tell, it doesn't go any higher than, some greasy small arms dealer, who works out of a garage. The cops can't deal with small time crooks and thugs?
Here there is a gas station robbery, and a gang-initiation homicide, with the suspect, who is id'ed by a witness, and is then hit by a car outside the gas station immediately afterward. The DA can't win this case? It's a Tee ball case, he should be hitting it out of the park. "The defense will ask you questions like, when was your last eye exam, or what do you have against inner city youth." Really? These are concerning questions, that might sway a jury? Again, laughable.
And the idea that 2 police officers are murdered, and the PD hasn't organized their own hunting party for the criminals is just plain stupid. 2 police officers murdered, and the best that the police can do is to 1. station a guard outside bacon's room to stop HIM from doing anything? and 2. blame him for the death of his family. Huh.
The problem, as I see it, is this. The "police" in this movie weren't meant to be, you know, policemen. They were written as a foil to the protagonist, an additional hurdle that he had to overcome. It felt like this was based on a bad comic book.
It felt like the screenplay was written by a 13 year old, with no exposure (even on TV?) to the actual, real world. Sure in this world, there is corruption, there is incompetence. But it's not this open, not this blatant, and not this systematic ... at least in a major US city, when the murder victim is the son of a senior VP of an insurance company. And especially not if the criminals are just a bunch of drug using, gas station robbing thugs.
Maybe if it was set in the wild west, or some place that is normally perceived as lawless (like a central American country, as in Man on Fire), or Gotham City, it would be more acceptable. But this movie was trash ... immature and unrealistic to the point of being difficult to watch.
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