The Crossing Guard

* 1/2*

Rather bland drama about guilt, remorse and revenge. Six years ago, a drunk driver by the name of John Booth (David Morse) killed the daughter of Freddie (Jack Nicholson) and Mary (Anjelica Huston). In the years that followed while Booth served his time for manslaughter, Freddie was so all consumed by his thirst for revenge that he lost his wife (who sought counselling and remarried) and his two sons. On the day Booth is released, Freddie sets out to kill him. David Morse does a fine job as the regretfull Booth. Nicholson, however, is left to chew scenery in a rather Nicholsonian way. Director Sean Penn does good work with the confrontational scenes between the three main characters, but he stumbles in between. There are long periods of waiting, where virtually nothing happens. Robin Wright is wasted as a tossed-in love interest for Booth. And the entire film boils down to a terminally extended chase sequence which leaves many questions unresolved. It goes to show that good actors and a potentially interesting subject don't always result in a good film. (Miramax)

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