Road to Perdition

Bomb Rating: 

Since there is forced retirement in the rest of the world, I say, why not in Hollywood? For God's sake, somebody please tell Paul Newman to stay at home. The only thing the guy conveys for me at his advanced age is that I too am going to die one day. This revelation inspires a brief pause over my morning bowl of frosted miniwheats to acknowledge that life is precious -- at least until I read the day's news about the group of kids in my neighborhood who get their jollies by torturing fawns and cutting the legs off baby raccoons (this really happened in my neighborhood). Message to Paul: Just stay inside working on your pasta sauce.

And is it just me, or did Tom Hanks eat Rita Wilson? He is HUGE, and it's been at least a year since I've seen or heard anything from Wilson.

Mob assassin Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) discovers, much like the employees of Enron, that his loyalty to mob boss John Rooney (Paul Newman) is worth absolutely nothing when Rooney's despicable son, Connor (Daniel Craig), guns down Sullivan's wife (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and young son. This sends Sullivan on the road to revenge and the road to Perdition with older son, Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin). They grow together. They discover how important family is. They kill some people. Naturally, this all leads to important bonding between the two Michaels and everybody learns that despite the killing problem, they're really sensitive men who kill only because it's the only way they know to say "I love you."

Fans of "American Beauty" are probably wondering why it took director Sam Mendes three years to release his second film. Here's the answer: He revels in the minutiae of life with the sort of enthusiasm reserved for the severely autistic. Remember that flying trash bag "this is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen" crap we had to put up with in "American Beauty"? Apparently, Mendes has been figuring out how to deploy that aesthetic on a much larger scale and it only took him three years to mesh it with a gangster film. Michael Sullivan could be shooting a gang of rivals full of holes, but all Mendes wants to focus on is the falling rain, the silence, and some painfully slow music meant to remind us that there's a reason they don't preview films in elevators.

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