88 Minutes

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner2/10/2008

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 108 mins

Ridiculous and ultimately disappointing thriller that stays just about watchable thanks to an amusing pair of performances by Shouty Al and his hairpiece.

What's it all about?
Al Pacino (sporting a ridiculous wig that seems to have its own character arc) plays university professor-slash-forensic psychiatrist Jack Gramm, whose expert testimony helped to convict the Seattle Slayer (Larry Hagman lookalike Neal McDonough) ten years previously. As the Slayer's execution date nears, a series of copycat murders are committed, all centring on the (many) women in Jack's life. And just when even his policeman friend (William Forsythe) starts to think he might be guilty, Jack receives a phonecall from the killer, telling him he has just 88 minutes to live.

Suspecting the Slayer's involvement, Jack races to uncover his accomplice. But who is it? Is it his loyal secretary (Amy Brenneman)? His slightly smitten classroom assistant (Alicia Witt)? The spiky Dean (Debora Kara Unger)? His recent hook-up (Leah Cairns)? One of his shifty-looking students (Ben McKenzie and Leelee Sobieski)? Or is it the helmet-clad motorbike rider (Stephen Moyer) that seems to be following him everywhere?

The Good
Pacino is on top shouty form throughout, though he actually seems remarkably unruffled by his car blowing up and all the murders – in fact, it's only when he discovers that someone has had access to his secure area that he gets really mad. Still, there's strong support from Ginger Goddess Alicia Witt and McDonough's piercing blue eyes and dazzling teeth are put to good use as the Slayer.

The Bad
88 Minutes is one of those thrillers where everyone acts guilty and might as well be wearing numbered Red Herring t-shirts, so you quickly give up trying to work out who the killer might be and end up just shaking your head in disbelief and giggling. A lot.

Worth seeing?
This ridiculous thriller is just about worth watching in a so-bad-its-good sort of way and Shouty Al fans will get their money's worth, but it's just too stupid to take seriously and ultimately disappointing as a result.

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88 Minutes
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Content updated: 26/02/2020 13:58

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