Felon (2008)

Posted by prla1983 on August 06, 2008 • 0 commentsEmail This Post

I must have done a lot of good to the Film God Almighty® because right after I wrote a glowing review, here's reason to write another. And mind you, this one's even better, for my particular money. This shit better stop though, because it's making me look like some fanboy who loves everything in sight, crappy or not. I want to trash something.

Seriously though, just like the previous movie I reviewed, 21, this one, "Felon", is another prime example of how story lines that have been done many times over can still be fresh and impacting if they're done the right way, with seriousness and rid of any sort of film pretentiousness.

Cutting to the chase, Wade Porter (Stephen Dorff, a good actor who has sadly been passing very much under the radar) is a hard working family man, with one child and a lovely wife (Marisol Nichols, who you may have seen in a leading role in 24's last season). Everything is sweet until some thug decides Wade's house is a nice place to rob. As it happens, and I won't tell you how, Wade finds himself in prison (wait, shouldn't that be the thief? Right.) and his situation only gets worse as his time goes by. In prison he meets an old-timer known to have wrecked havoc wherever he's done time, a man that may not be exactly what he seems to be. Or is he? That's Val Kilmer in one of my favorite roles of his. There's a memorable passage in the film when his character, John Smith, is assigned the same cell as Wade and he introduces himself:

Smith: You wanna fuck or fight?
Wade: None.
Smith: Keep it that way.

That's enough to frame the story, dear reader. Needless to say, the vast majority of the film's 100 minutes running time is spent inside prison walls and my eyes were stuck on the screen for each and every one of those. You sympathize with the most unlikely characters, you feel for their problems and not only Wade Porter's.

The best movies are the ones where you take sides and you actually care about something or someone, forgetting for a moment that you're just a peeping tom glancing at the screen and at other people's lives. Who, by the way, do not exist. This is one such film, so make sure you catch it somewhere.

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