Rating: R for violence, bloodshed
Run Time: 1 hour, 56 minutes
No Sophomore Slump for director Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”), who segues from Oscar winner to Oscar-winning potential with a smooth sleight of hand.
“Perdition” is defined as “eternal damnation”. Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) has known from childhood that he’s destined for the fiery den below. As the adopted son of Irish mob boss John Rooney (Paul Newman), Sullivan also knows which side his bread is buttered on. He’s as loyal and trustworthy a hitman as they come.
Not unexpectedly, one of Rooney’s lackeys steps out of line and is taken-out point blank by the volatile Connor, with Sullivan standing by as his trusty sideshow. The reckless turn of events is witnessed by Michael, who stowed away in Dad’s car in an effort to get the bottom of his father’s enthralling “job”.
A heavy aura of disapproval and mistrust compresses to make room for suspicious paranoia. Connor takes a deadly misstep by attempting to snuff the potential squealer, with unforeseen and tragic consequences. Suddenly, it’s Sullivan and son on the run, a deadly cat-and-mouse chase across the relentless Midwestern landscape.
Too much of
a good thing? “Perdition” boasts A-list
craft across the boards, from its decorated director to its talented cast and
all-pro crew. Consequently, the look is
This won’t be Hanks’ next shot at an Oscar. Undeniably one of our finest actors, he’s uncomfortably miscast as a conscienceless assassin. For that matter, Hanks as a dishonorable human being is an awkward fit. Jude Law turns in a judicious performance as a ghoulish predator with a Chaplinesque gait, but Newman needs to inject subtlety into his twilight-career repertoire. Movie-maestro Thomas Newman’s emotive, dissonant score is exhilaratingly high-profile, establishing Mood from the opening frame and maintaining its stranglehold on the project through to the end credits.
Revenge, betrayal and the dirty, yet elegant, goings-on of the Irish Mob are consistently enthralling. An accomplished American beauty.