Blue Caprice ★★

Blue Caprice accomplishes the nearly herculean feat of making a pair of serial killers wholly uninteresting and dull. Seriously, how is that even possible? The film somehow finds a way to completely ignore all of the macabre and psychological elements that makes most other serial killer dramas endlessly fascinating. In its place, is a rather mundane study about the twisted father-son relationship forged between a manipulative older man and an impressionable younger man.

Blue Caprice is the story of the so-called "Beltway sniper attacks" perpetrated by John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo. Isaiah Washington stars as John, a middle-aged father of 3 who is separated from his children when his ex-wife files a restraining order against him after he kidnaps them and takes them to the Caribbean. Tequan Richmond co-stars as Lee, a Jamaican teenager abandoned by his mother who eventually adopts John as a father figure of sorts. The film was directed by Alexandre Moors.

It becomes quite obvious early on in the film that the filmmakers elected to take a more understated approach with Blue Caprice, however the fundamental flaw in taking such an approach is that it comes at the cost of losing any and all sense of tension and intrigue that a film such as this needs in order to thrive. For example, the eponymous vehicle is only introduced approximately 58 minutes into the film. From there, the killing spree itself only takes up about 15 minutes total during the film's final act. the majority which is spent with the camera simply following the car around as it drives aimlessly from one location to the next while various 911 calls play in the background. Nobody goes into this film hoping to watch a car drive around, they go in either hoping to get a better understanding of what it is that motivated John and Lee to commit such a heinous crime or hoping to get a taste of what it must've been like to be in the middle of the shit when the whole ordeal went down but you really get none of that. Even the snipers' ultimate capture is depicted in such a boring and uneventful way that you're almost left scratching your head a little bit wondering aloud if the filmmakers were even trying at that point.

Isaiah Washington is okay in the lead role but he really lacks the charisma necessary to be able to convincingly cast Tequan Richmond's character under his spell. Someone like Idris Elba would've likely been much better suited for the role. Washington's character is also really out of whack in a weird way. It's like one minute he's just a guy that misses his kids and then the next minute he wants to murder everything in sight and the film really fails at exploring what takes his character from Point A to Point B. The film is just one big massive missed opportunity all around. I think that the definitive Beltway sniper film has perhaps yet to come.