Friday, May 11, 2012
Poor Jim Gillespie, I really like the guy, but after directing the (nowadays) underrated I Know What You Did Last Summer he went directly into flop-hell with today's movie, D-Tox and even worse, the almost absurdly bashed and not-that-bad Venom. Why? I have no idea. Bad luck I guess, too much studio-interference maybe? D-Tox was shelved for several years before being released in cinemas, getting shit reviews and then dumped on video and DVD and forgotten faster than Michelle Bachman. It's a damn pity...
Sylvester Stallone is Jake Malloy, a fed who's on the hunt for a brutal serial killer that targets cops. After his wife gets killed by the madman and Jake once again fails to catch the killer he decides to do the next best after just being sad, drink a lot of alcohol and then try to kill himself. He's saved and because he's such a nice guy his bosses thinks he should go to a remote rehab facility, placed in an old military base out in the wilderness. But who's waiting for him? Yeah, the killer - hidden among the other guests! And now it's killing time again!
D-Tox is such a good-looking and well-made thriller. It has some problems, but I'm pretty sure it's all about stupid CEO's thinking they could make a movie better with making it worse. Somehow some idiot out there probably thought the movie was too long and wanted to cut it down. So gone is a lot of very necessary scenes of character development and drama, red herrings and just plain atmosphere. This makes the last half of the movie confusing and hard to follow, with cuts so unexpected I had to rewind to understand what was happening. All the deleted stuff is in the bonus section of the DVD, so you can see it for yourself. Maybe the studio wanted another slasher like Summer, but this isn't a slasher. It's a murder-mystery for grown-ups. Fuck the teens (not literary of course), this was from the beginning a movie that aimed higher than so.
But it's still a very, very decent thriller. Let me tell you why: there's a scientific fact that everyone set in snow can't be totally bad. Yeah, that's true. Here you have a lot of snow, forest, a wonderful underground military base (I'm surprise these sets didn't show up in some cheaper DTV sci-fi movie!) and a great cast! It's a wet dream for fans of character actors: Robert Patrick, Charles S. Dutton, Kris Kristofferson, Jeffrey Wright, Tom Berenger, Sean Patrick Flanery, Stephen Lang, Robert Prosky and more. Sylvester Stallone, far from the botoxed clump of sadness he is today, looks great - I could even say he looks attractive - and makes a good performance up there with
Rocky and Rambo. Cop Land
D-Tox might not be the most original thriller made, but it's very underrated and delivers the thrills. But yeah, it could have used more graphic killings. Not enough blood and gore, not enough!