Saturday, October 25, 2014
DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE (2001)
Directed By: Harold Becker
Written By: Lewis Colick
Story By: Lewis Colick, William S.Comanor & Gary Drucker
Cinematography By: Michael Seresin
Editor: Peter Honess
Cast: John Travolta, Vince Vaughn, Teri Polo, Steve Buscemi, Matt O’Leary, Rueben Santiago-Hudson, Debra Mooney
Susan Morrison is getting married to wealthy industrialist Rick Barnes. Danny, her teenage son with ex-husband Frank, isn't happy about this; he stows away in Rick's car one night, planning to go to Frank's house. But while there, he witnesses Rick murdering mysterious stranger Ray Coleman. Problem is, Rick's managed to dispose of most of the evidence, and he's considered a pillar of the community, while Danny has a history of lying. Frank believes him, though, and does some investigating of his own, as Rick's shady past slowly catches up to him and his new family.
How the mighty have fallen Harold Becker the director of the superior thriller MALICE. Directed this film that could have been something, had it had the nuances and thrills of his previous films.
Here the films sticks to exactly what the title promises. Though it feels strangely streamlined as it is so cut and dry. While having set itself up for scenes of drama that could have added drama and texture to the central theme and action of the film. Which might explain the rather brief running time.
Apparently the thought was push out the story as fast a possible so the audience never really gets a chance to think too deeply about it.
While the title sounds like an alternate explination of the Jennifer Lopez film ENOUGH. or a domestic drama that centers around an abusive step-father or an abusive family drama
The seems to want I expand i to a tale where we can see John Travolta's character trying to remain close to his son as his cooler step-dad steps Into the picture and his fear of losing his son to another man as he has already lost his wife to her. We could have seen Vince Vaughn's character deal with the guilt of his past coming back to haunt him. Just when he has gotten a chance to put it behind him and is on his way to leading his dream life. We could see the struggles but also clues to his unsavory past that real themselves. See him have to love in the shadow of the boys father and laws feels he has to impress him.
Instead we get a fairly to the point thriller where the nice stepfather all of a sudden turns into a psychopathic killer any the drop of a hat. Who must kill his stepson once he has witnessed him killing a man from his past. Though instead of doing it instantly. He must make it look like an accident so we have to watch him plan it slowly.
Which is a shame as at first we feel a bit sorry for his character as throughout the film for the most part he seems to be a victim of Circumstances. He really has no control over.
This film was edited 3 times for strong language and violence to receive a PG-13 rating by the MPAA. The film contains numerous scenes where dubbing for strong language can be obviously seen and heard. In total 23 minutes of the film were edited by the time the final cut was completed. Which explains why the film feels choppy and onto something then all of a sudden gets maddening with it’s pace.
Steve Buscemi is highly billed but really here for a paycheck and a cameo. As his character is who puts everything in motion. Yet is only in two scenes. This showed at the time the height of his popularity.
It also doesn’t help that Teri Polo’s character who is in the middle of all of this. Seems to care nothing about her son’s welfare more like he is a burden. She is trapped with. --John Travolta is our hero and the film has a nautical theme to it. Of course he is perfect to a t. Though somehow divorced.
It's an easy film to follow. It's just so simple you can't really believe it. It's by the numbers and shockingly short.