- « The Killer Ultimate Edition / Hard-Boiled Ultimate Edition. On DVD March 30th. (**********10/10)
- Defamation. On DVD May 18th. (*********9/10) »
Genre: Drama, Crime
Country: United States
Starring: Christian Slater, Wes Bentley, Emmanuelle Vaugier
Director: Jeff Beesley
Run time: 89 minutes
DVD distributor: Alliance Films
Few Stephen King stories have been successfully adapted into movies. There are the obvious failures (Maximum Overdrive, It, Tommyknockers, Pet Semetary) and the occasional success (Misery, Shawshank Redemption). The most remarkable film in the whole Stephen King catalog is Shawshank. Not only is it a brilliant film, but it was also a commercial success, has staying power, and was based on a short story. This is amazing because short stories themselves, Stephen King or otherwise, rarely translate into good movies. (3:10 To Yuma notwithstanding.)
I knew right away, with Dolan’s Cadillac, that the “short story” curse was a bigger problem than the “Stephen King” curse. Oh, there are some other serious problems with the movie – Christian Slater as Dolan, a human-trafficking gangster, and Wes Bentley as the man determined to kill him, are both very very bad. Slater shows how evil his character is by yelling sometimes, and occasionally delivering a really cheesy and verbose speech. And Bentley just seems to be going through the motions. Like, he scowls when he sees Dolan, ’cause he hates him, see?
But the biggest problem, as I said, is that this movie is based on a short story. A really neat short story, by the way. And in that really neat short story there was no character development or in-depth analysis, just a series of events with an ironic and ingenious ending. This movie also has an ironic and ingenious ending. Just like the short story. However, the story goes right there. This movie has to fill an hour and a half. Which means we get more of Christian Slater shouting, more of Wes Bentley scowling, a totally unnecessary subplot involving detectives and investigators, and more filler than actual plot. This really was a good short story. And I think it would have made a good short film. Like, 20 minutes tops. As it stands, it’s an awful feature.