"Hanks grows, big guy rocks, Rockwell awesome, no piano score. YAY!"
Was going to hate it. I was actually psyched to see a film I could hate, since I've been bombing my way from cinematic treasure to cinematic treasure lately. American Beauty, Three Kings, Insider, Fight Club, Boys Don't Cry, Iron Giant, Hurricane, and then came this. "Prepare to hate" I thought as the trailers played. And then... I didn't. Imagine how pissed I got.Hatred don't come cheap. You gotta earn it. And you can't get it just because your film is twenty minutes too long, nor can you get it just because you went for the easy start/finish of having a kindly old fart talking us through a flashback of the entire story, a la Saving Private Ryan. You just gotta earn it.
So when Tom Hanks underplays his role of the kindly prison warden on death row, he's undoing some serious good hatred-inducement. When big Michael Clarke Duncan (the mysterious new prisoner who seems to be eight feet tall but is quiet as a mouse) starts a-cryin', well he's a-cryin' like he should. And when Sam Rockwell comes to prison, well wheeeeeeeee-doggy, he's just a bad-ass mofo, nah what ahm sayin'?
No, you probably don't. I'll explain. This is the tale of warden on death row who realises one of his new inmates is a little different from the rest. Is he innocent? Is he special? Does he have God's gift? And if you take away one of God's special guys, do you go to hell?
Lame? Nah. It's a Stephen King outing, and Frank Darabont directed it. He's kind of batting 1.000 with prison flicks after The Shawshank Redemption.Look, I don't wanna spend too much time on this review, because frankly, I'm tired, the movie is tough to explain without giving stuff away and it really was a pleasant surprise. More than one person behind me was choking back a tear or four and I didn't feel exploited. Solid.