Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blue Caprice

Boy, would I have made this movie differently.

Alexandre Moors' D.C. sniper movie "Blue Caprice," which could be one of the best titles in film history, spends its first 75 minutes on artsy, actionless (and, dare I say, boring) backstory - how John Allen Muhammad met young Lee Boyd Malvo in Antigua after abducting his kids; John's white friends (Tim Blake Nelson and Joey Lauren Adams), who put them up back in Washington; Lee's untutored proficiency with a rifle - and its last fifteen on oblique depictions of the murders themselves, shot almost as if they were afterthoughts. I'd plow through the prelims in half an hour and save the bulk of the film for the wherefores and whys of the shootings. As John notes, they were amazingly easy to pull off; in fact, given the men's intentions, it's a wonder many more weren't killed. Moors misses the target, focusing instead on the Svengali-like hold John supposedly has on Lee. It doesn't work for two reasons: first, John (Isaiah Washington) just comes off as a garden-variety nutbag; second, Lee (Tequan Richmond) seems physically and mentally tough enough to break away at will. Neither performance makes an impression, and Richmond in particular finds his one big speech (in prison, to his attorney? A reporter?) outside his grasp. "Blue Caprice" is one of the real disappointments of the movie year.

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