Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: None listed.
RON Decker (Terminator 2 star Edward Furlong) is a privileged,
Beverley Hills boy who has been sentenced to two years in the
notorious San Quentin prison for dealing drugs.
He is young, he is handsome and he is naïve; he is therefore
a target for penal-predators.
Luckily, before anything too unpleasant happens to him, Ron is
befriended by Earl Copen (Willem Dafoe), who, after 18 years inside,
is king of the cell-blocks, and under his guidance, Ron learns
how to deal with life in this grim, new world.
When Rons appeal against his sentence fails, he and Earl
decide to escape
Over the years Steve Buscemi has made a name for himself as both
actor and director through his involvement with a string of off-the
wall, art-house movies (including Reservoir
Dogs, Fargo, Trees Lounge and Ghost
Strange then that this film, which Buscemi directed, should be
so lacking in the kind of original, oddball touches that have
become his trademark.
Instead, what we get is a straightforward drama, based on the
book of the same name by Edward Bunker, about a young man learning
to deal with the brutality of prison life.
Fair enough, as that sort of film goes, this is perfectly acceptable.
The direction and the story telling are taut and the action is
tough, with the vaguest hint of tender. And while Dafoe hardly
breaks sweat in the leading role, his presence is strong enough
to carry the story.
The problem is there is nothing here, except perhaps for Mickey
Rourke in false eyelashes and a basque an inspired piece
of casting, that hasnt been seen a million times before
in genre pieces such as Shawshank Redemption.
So unless youre a prison-movie virgin, in which case you
will probably enjoy this, spend your entrance money on something