Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Felon (2008) - DVD Review

A few minutes into this film quickly reminded me of why I never watched the critically acclaimed HBO show OZ. Watching prison life is absolutely brutal and I frankly like to pretend it doesn’t exist. However, Felon was my potluck pick from Castor at Anomalous Material, so I dove right in. I’ve taken so long to get this review written that I’m sure he thinks I didn’t even watch it!

I’ll start by saying that this was a good movie. It was well acted and had a strong storyline. However, it was difficult to sit through. While this film was hardly as violent as it could have been, I found the storyline very frustrating, although believable.

An average working joe (Stephen Dorff) kills an intruder and finds himself serving a prison term with hardened criminals. From the start, you can put yourself in this guy’s shoes. He finds a burglar in his young son’s room and chases him with a baseball bat. His intent is not to kill him, but he’s angry and continues to chase the rogue and hit him with the bat while they are both outside of the house. A misaimed blow to head quickly turns our main character’s life upside down.

We see how difficult it is to survive in prison and it’s unlikely that you’ll be allowed to serve your term quietly and unnoticed. Everyone has their allegiances and all you can really do is hope you’ve chosen wisely. Dorff’s character finds himself deeper and deeper into a mess as he tries his best just to survive.

The performances of the supporting characters are fantastic. Marisol Nichols turns in a fine performance as his frustrated and exhausted fiancé. We see her torment as she ties to stand by her man but begins to question if she can love the man he is becoming.

Harold Perrineau is also a standout as a corrupt prison warden. You will love hating this guy. He seems to play a lot of assholes, but he does a great job at it!

The stand-out performance, by far, belongs to the virtually unrecognizable Val Kilmer. Kilmer is in serious Brando territory here. Sure, we all get older, but it’s hard to believe this is the same guy that played Iceman in Top Gun and one of the many Batmans. The acting chops, however, are still there. He makes his character so riveting that you begin to wish the film was about him!

I will recommend this film. As a character study it was great and it’s always nice to see a good DVD film that you probably never heard of, I know I sure knew nothing about this film prior to the AM Potluck Pick. It does come with a warning though that it will make you angry, depressed and reminded of how quickly everything can be taken away from you. Hey, maybe this is a good Thanksgiving movie. You’ll certainly look around and be grateful for everything you have after spending time with this flick!

1 comment:

Castor said...

Ah! Glad you gave this a chance :) I loved Harold Perrineau's performance, he was so vicious but not just a one-dimensional villain!