88 Minutes DVD review

Al Pacino, what happened to you? Nicole finds 88 Minutes to be about 87 too long...

88 Minutes

There are all sorts of bad movies. Some seem bad because they’re so very close to being good, but a poor performance or wonky plot move destroys the whole thing. Others are so horrible they actually become good fun to watch; they’re bad in a good way.

Others are bad in a boring way – there’s no single performance to make them watchable, and they’re not over the top enough to become fun despite being crap. 88 Minutes falls into this category. Just don’t bother.

Every single character comes off as an asshole, with the notable exceptions of some very pretty girls – but they only seem nice enough because they don’t last long, and die in disgusting and painful ways that for some reason involves climbing equipment. Al Pacino and a very fluffy hairpiece play Jack Gramm, a forensic psychiatrist who arrogantly believes he’s right about everything because his sister died in a disgusting and painful way.

Somehow, this gives him some magical insight into studying murders, and his testimony magically manages to put a serial killer on death row. Years later, just as said baddie is about to be put down, murders with the exact same modus operendi start happening – so did Gramm put away the wrong man or is it an elaborate plot to get the killer out of the firing line?

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Rather than make a movie where Gramm has to reconsider his arrogance and the potential cost of his decisions, the film-makers instead have the killer send Gramm a message saying he has only 88 minutes to live – which is the exact amount of time the psychiatrist’s younger sister was tortured for way back when. Ooh, deep.

Pacino’s arrogant psychiatrist then spends the rest of the movie driving back and forth across Seattle, between the university campus he works at and his posh apartment, making phone calls to people including his exes, his assistant (who does nothing but answer his calls), and his students, one of which is a surprisingly tall Leelee Sobieski.

Then he figures out what’s going on and there’s a stupid ending that’s almost bad enough to be entertaining, but if you didn’t have to write a review about it like me, you’d probably be asleep already.

Indeed, if the premise sounds at all interesting to you, you’d be better off staring at a wall making up the movie in your head than wasting your time watching Pacino and his bouffant head speed back and forth across Seattle. I’m sure you can do better than this.

Al Pacino is better than this; so are you – don’t bother with 88 Minutes.

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1 stars


1 out of 5