Road To Perdition?

Anyone have any impressions?

Caught an early matinee yesterday. I thought it was an enjoyable flick, but it certainly wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.

At heart, the movie is a father and son story. It’s not Godfather, it’s not Goodfellas, or any of those kind of narrative mafia flicks with a large cast of characters and the inevitable fall and demise of the main character. Instead, the movie is much more poised towards the notion of delieverance in more than a few ways. It pulls that off with quality acting performances and a plot that is action-packed but never loses its firm roots (built in the first 1/3 of the movie) in the relationships between the characters, which stay strong from the beginning to end of the film. The relationship between Mike Sullivan (Tom Hanks) and his son Michael was pulled off very well, using both brief conversations (which is the believable extent of the Sullivan character, who is quite the stoic) and, more importantly, actions to support one another in their mutual quest-justice for Michael, vengeance for Sullivan.

For a summer flick, it’s suprising emotional and even cerebral to a point, if you’re willing to expand your definition of a gangster productions beyond the confines of Godfather and The Sopranos. It does have its weak points at parts-the villian in the movie seems far too over-the-top for such a ‘grounded’ film, and the boss characters are far too weak to be believable mob types (again, this is probably the stererotype mob movie fan speaking). The pacing in the last 1/3 of the film is a bit off, like they stuffed in JUST the parts they needed to finish the movie, as well.

Outside of those nits, it’s a darn fine flick and one of the better movies you’ll see this summer. 3/4 stars

I liked it to an extent, but the critics were right when they noted how dour it was. Mendes is way too self-important for his own good. And for a movie about a father and son, the relationships were awfully sterile. Aside from the opening clip where the kid steals the tobacco and smokes the pipe, the brief scene of the kids playing dice with Newman, and the equally short scenes where Hanks teaches his son how to drive, everything existed solely to advance the plot. The script seemed more like a writing exercise to me than something intended to be produced for audiences.

I agree. I saw this yesterday and I just couldn’t be drawn into it. It was beautifull crafted, but yet empty in a way.

Tom Hanks just seemed remote; not remote in “he’s supposed to be remote, he’s a remote character” but remote, like he was kinda dialing it in.

I certainly appreciate that it was as non-summer a summer movie you’re going to get out of a studio these days… For once we get a movie that’s not about aliens or gratitious gun battles or massive explosions or 90-percent special effects. But Sam Mendes (who I thought got extremely lucky for the overrated American Beauty) is trying too hard to be too cerebral in this movie.