Hangman (2017) Arg. Another artificially contrived murder mystery where they killer has time, finances, intelligence enough insanity to stage multiple complicated murder scenes. As any real cop knows, it’s tough to set up a common garden variety murder without making a million mistakes, this guy does one ever 24 hours in succession and the cops can’t find him, even knowing he’s going to do one with a string of clues left behind. But even that isn’t as contrived as a few other plot points, like Pacino (what’s he doing, that fake Southern accent he thinks he can do?) as an old cop with a younger partner, plus a reporter tagging along as female relief.
Being called out of retirement to solve a crime; does this really happen in real life? How insulting is it to workaday cops that they have to call in some old man to find the killer, and after 5 or so misfires the badly cast 30 something crippled Hispanic woman who puts off lesbian vibes “Captain” (yeah, they hit all the diversity bases here, they don’t actually star any minorities, but put them in authority positions as a sop) doesn’t can the 2 fuck-ups, she is as bewildered as they are so she keeps them on. Outside of the 3 leads, all the actors are uniformly poor, the lighting and general ambiance and production is Showtime Red Shoe Diaries quality. I’m still watching it so let’s do a tick tock to the end, shall we?
Oh I like how they got a digital clock built into the crisis room to let them know how long to the next murder. Well, the reason we have a young female captain is now evident, this wouldn’t have worked with a JK Simmons-type gruff veteren captain. Do witers and casting agents recognize how long it takes, even for affirmative action promotions, for someone to become captain? Add to the killer’s talents: accomplished motocross rider as he leads the cops on a merry chase (2nd chase scene in the movie). Now he’s on foot, they are about to run hiim down when a perfectly timed van crashes into them. The guy walks off nonchalantly. How did he rig that?
This reporter they have with them now tells them she’s been raped and the detective cared so much and caught the guy and he shot Detective Michaels dead. Can it be the same fucking guy?? Hell, probably. So anyway, this is why she’s a crime reporter and this is why she ties her hair in a loose knot instead of using a scrunchy or a tie-back or braiding it. I’m just guessing about that last part. The hangman clue so far is _V_C_ _ON_N. I’m pretty good at these, and I know of no non-proper noun that has ON_N. eViCTiON_N? Disgruntled ex-tenant? Well time for another murder.
This one is hung as high as Hamen, a woman in a knightdress. Oh wait, I got a letter wrong. It’s _V_CT_ON_M. I would have to guess it’s UM, a latin word? Earlier in the church there was a hint of that. Or NYM, a type of word or name? Or an anagram? VICTIM ONE? Wait, that’s the fucking captain in a hospital gown, kidnapped from the hospital and murdered? Wow, great police force. No wait, it’s someone named Joan I can’t recall who it is exactly? Oh, it’s the chick who slit her wrists earlier when she found her gf was dead. Still you’d think the cops would be watching her.
Now they have a red herring perfect suspect to go after. Break into his hobby shop and a film is playing (silent, couldn’t be more than 10 mins long, but running when they get there. Nice timing!) And of course the perfect suspect if fucking murdered. I thought they’d string it out longer than that. What residue is on his hands? Hate watchng a movie with no subs, actors mumble or the soundtrack is too low. I forgot to mention the murderer is the one who killed the younger detective’s wife, and here are photos of him holding her while she died, meaning the murderer hung around to take shots, been planning this a long time. But which also brings up the point, wouldn’t he be disqualified from working on this case since a family member was a victim?
Jeez, the split second timing this murderer relies on just beggars belief. Elmore Leonard is the king of showing how even the simplest of plans can go awry, but this guy pulls off split-second after split-second escapes, contrivances, clues, and now he’s kidnapped the reporter. And Pacino knows (or thinks he does, from a piece of jewelry probably purposely left behind. The guy got a scar from sideswiping Pacino’s car and ensuing chase or something and it really bothers him.
This guy is a scumbag, instead of a brainy, Kevin Spacey type. Really hard to believe he can spell, let alone set up a series a murders celebrating the death of his father, who hung himself at a pig farm with this skull necklace on. It all fits! And we work in the internet, a live feed of the reporter buried alive. She’s at Sacred Heart! (my old elementary school!) I want all my units at that location now! intones the mature, thoughtful captain. Good time to loot the Walmart! In fact, he usedto dress maniquins. They had to be perfect, and he was in control. My god this is shitty writing.
You think you understand me? You don’t know shit! The writer doesn’t know shit about the internet, I’m guessing. How, exactly is this guy live-feeding this murder? FB? The mods must be asleep at the switch there. I’d also think they could trace him fairly quick, whatever platform he’s on. Unless it’s Myspace, but then noone would ever see the video.
Oh everything is Pacino’s fault for not doing something after Jimmy’s father hung himself. Pacino should have done something, he forgot whatever happened to that little boy. He went through years of brutal pain. How he doesn’t elaborate. Years of abuse and neglect, apparently. So, society is to blame. We’ll be booking them too. So Pacino, a cop, is expected to be a psychologist, surrogate father, big brother and social worker for every kid he encounters in his job travails. Ok good guy comes in from the side, shoots the perp and rescues the girl, but oh no, he didn’t shoot him good enough and he comes leaping out of the jumpscare for a fist-fight scene! I don’t see how they throw him onto rotating helicopter blades at this point, oh down a spiral stairwell, that’s good too. Wow what a shitty cut with Pacino jumping in there, what did he get stabbed? He’s dying somehow. EVICTIONUM? That clip where Pacino jumps in is the most awkward thing I’ve ever seen.
EVICTIO: recovery at law in virtue of superior title. WTF does that even mean? And in context of the movie? Aaannd the other detective shoots the injured (still not dead!) murderer in cold blood in revenge for Pacino’s death.
Then a funeral scene with a flag-draped casket, sadness all around. The plot, motivation of the killer, detective work all shittily done. But wait! At the end a little kid hands the remaining detective a note with another Hangman clue! ______A_____! Karl Urban huh? Seen him in something, bullet headed fucker. Who’s the girl? Brittany Snow. That’s De list for sure. Joe Anderson the killer. I guess when you hire Pacino, even at this low point, you can’t afford any other actual actors, writers, directors, music (they don’t use the actual Animals version of House of the Rising Son, some sound-alide does it) production or anything else. God, even the titles look cheap and generic.
However, it accomplishes what most people who would go see it would want: you get Pacino, not chewing the scenery but at least gumming it. I liked just watching him, and the plot wasn’t some preachy left wing nonsense, so yeah, it worked for me. Who the fuck directed this piece of shit, if you can even direct him anymore. Oh, Geordie featuring Brian Johnson, probably before he joined AC/DC. Not until the end does he start wailing.
Well I give it a 3 because Pacino is still entertaining. Just don’t confuse it with anything realistic or possible, much like Se7en, it’s just a crime novel grade plot, no relation to real life. I give it a 3, anyone else in the starring role it would have been a 1. And couldn’t they have gotten someone better for the main villian, er, or we haven’t actually seen who that is yet according to the last scene there, but whatever.