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September 2008
88 Minutes DVD Review

by Kam Williams

88 Minutes DVD Review

Actors: Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski, Amy Brenneman, William Forsythe
Directors: Jon Avnet
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Number of discs: 1
Rating: R
Studio: Sony Pictures
DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008
Run Time: 107 minutes
DVD Extras: Director’s audio commentary, an alternate ending, Sony trailers and a couple of featurettes.


Whodunit on DVD Stars Pacino as Shrink on Run from Serial Killer

About ten years ago, Dr. Jack Gramm (Al Pacino) was the expert witness whose testimony helped send serial killer Jon Forster (Neal McDonough) to Death Row. But as the notorious “Seattle Slayer” was being led out of the courtroom, he looked the FBI forensic psychiatrist straight in the eye and whispered, “Tick-tock, Doc,” in a veiled threat to exact revenge.

Fast forward to the present where we find Forster on Death Row and out of appeals. This provides a measure of comfort to Gramm, now teaching med school, until on the eve of the execution he receives a chilling call on his cell phone repeating the familiar “Tick-tock, Doc” refrain. In addition, the electronically-altered voice informs the alarmed professor that he only has 88 minutes to live.

Thereupon, the sinister stalker immediately embarks on a frenetic crime spree, slicing and dicing folks close to Dr. Jack in order to implicate him in a series of copycat murders. The enterprising sicko proceeds to wreak havoc across the city, eluding the police while blowing up cars, setting fires and running over pedestrians with a motorcycle. Oh, and he also keeps Gramm on speed dial to be able to gloat periodically.

Patently preposterous at every turn, 88 Minutes features more cartoon physics than the average Bugs Bunny-Road Runner hour, and is about as credible. Al Pacino, under a world-class bouffant hairdo, still has the charisma to turn this turkey into a flick that’s almost watchable, if only for the laughs.

Regrettably, a splendid supporting cast topped by Leelee Sobieski is abandoned by a silly script laced illogical plot developments and more smelly red herrings than the Fulton Fish market. A comical crime thriller where you’re likely to find yourself more amused by the unintentionally funny goings-on than trying to solve the underlying whodunit.