Watched Jan 28, 2012
Mitchell Beaupre’s review:
There's not a lot to say about this, other than it's not very good. Gary Oldman and Dennis Hopper save it from being a complete waste, but the whole thing is flawed out the rear. Director Mick Jackson doesn't seem like he has any competency behind the camera; the film deals with very dark ideas like attempted suicide and guard violence and inhumane conditions in prison, but the tone is disastrously light for the majority, with random bits of narration popping up now and again. The script from James Hicks leaves a [i]lot[/i] to be desired, meandering all over the place for the first act, lazily trying to find it's footing in the second act and then out of nowhere becoming a law drama in the final one.
It's unfortunately handled by everyone other than some of the actors, particularly Oldman who still manages to impress in the leading role. Hopper has a couple of nice emotional moments (guy really was such an underrated actor), but Oldman steals the thing with another magnetically absorbed performance that is entirely unique to anything else he's ever done. His character is suicidal when we meet him, but in the rough and legally unfair conditions of the prison he's locked away in he finally discovers a new purpose in life. He's a war veteran who finds another battle to fight and Oldman plays him with strong desperation and emotional pull. It would have been even more impressive had it been in a film that was trying half as hard as he was.
Leslie Knope's mom plays his sister, I kept trying to figure out where I recognized her from.