It brings me no joy to bash the eighth movie in a row; though I'm certain May will bring us at least a few solid flicks. The problem is I can't let this level of futility stand any more than I can let you spend ten hard earned dollars on this mess. The fact of the matter is that 88 Minutes hates you. If you have children it hates them too. Own a puppy? Guess what? 88 Minutes has no love for the puppy either. Painfully incoherent and bumbling, 88 Minutes is what you get when conjuring conflicts out of thin air seems way easier than going through the motions of telling an actual story.
Al Pacino is a forensic psychiatrist whose testimony helped put a fella on death row (in the movie ONLY, in real life Al is still an actor). The accused is set to be executed when Al receives a call saying he has 88 minutes to live. Boom! He springs into action... which in this case means making a bunch of calls from his cell phone and half walking, half jogging around the college campus where he teaches. Now when I say a lot of phone calls I mean a ton. I've got to think an alternate title for this was "I can make LOADS of calls from this phone before this movie ends." That title was probably scrapped by the marketing guys when the Verizon partnership fell through.
The problems are all over the place but they start with the silly music and the lack of any meaningful story. The music seems like a petty thing to gripe about, but after you hear the 15th menacing piano bit as someone opens a door in 88 Minutes you'll be begging for a shot of vodka and a bullet. This film is ripe for the MST3K treatment. Next up, nothing makes sense. The very premise of the movie is jacked up because Al Pacino's testimony is the only thing highlighted. We're to believe that the only reason the accused is in prison is because Pacino was crazy convincing to the jury. Wait. Hold up a second. How did the cops find this guy initially? I mean... did Pacino raid his house as he was munching on Doritos watching the tele? My longish point is that 88 Minutes doesn't bother with the "details" or the "facts" or the "story." They just shout "Believe!" and hope the piano plus techno riffs lull you into a stupor. One caveat: This would be the best drunken film ever. The laughs would just keep on coming.
Now then, is there any chance you should see this? Perhaps. If you're willing to check all logic at the door, the time passes quickly enough. The filmmakers were also kind enough to throw plenty of eye candy in for your viewing pleasure (Al Pacino teaches a class filled with vivacious redheads and Ryan Atwood from The O.C.). If you've never seen motion pictures synced up with sound in a theater you'd probably come away impressed, or if you need a Sunday matinée you can laugh about with your significant other. But not for real life entertainment. Never that. At 108 minutes 88 Minutes is about two hours too long.
Sure, Laremy bashed 88 Minutes plenty in this review. But you know you want to hear him bash it too with his friend Brad Brevet below: