Review: 'Hangman', Starring Al Pacino, Karl Urban, and Brittany Snow

There's nothing incredibly special or extraordinary about, Hangman; a crime, thriller, drama starring Al Pacino, Karl Urban, and Brittany Snow. The movie follows the story of two detectives (Pacino and Urban), along with the help of a journalist (Snow), as they attempt to find and bring down a serial killer that uses the game of Hangman as his defining serial killer tactic because every serial killer has to have a "thing" right? (all sarcasm intended)

As a crime, thriller, drama this movie does work. It has all of the elements; blue/dark lighting, an evasive antagonist, a down on their luck or conflicted detective, and the introduction of another character that is stupid enough to get themselves involved in a situation that doesn't call for their help and so that brings about the conflict of their own liability, but also usefulness at different times of the story.

If this was in fact what the filmmakers were going for with this particular drama, they succeeded... to a certain extent. The success of a movie can only go so far at that kind of surface level. When you dive into the story at hand you will notice some plot holes that will leave you with more questions than answers; cringe-worthy and sometimes contrived-feeling acting that I'll go ahead and chalk up to bad writing; motivations, albeit that are made known to the viewer, but could've been fleshed out a bit more; and an ambiguous ending that doesn't leave the viewer wanting more, as much as it just comes off as the filmmakers being lazy and not knowing how to properly end the movie.

However, if the filmmakers actually wanted to make a decent crime, thriller that stands out from the rest, then they failed miserably. In the beginning, of the movie we find out some of the reason as to why Christi Davis (Snow's character) wants to write about Detective Ruiney (Urban's character). She tells him that given the extremely divisive times and the growing conflict between cops and civilians, she wants to provide an objective and honest insight into what it's like being a cop in America.

I feel like this could have been a great opportunity to create a crime, thriller, drama where instead of using an element of the times as a measly motivation for a journalist, they could have used it to actually say something about the times, giving an objective look at law enforcement and civilian life, thus making the movie more special or extraordinary. However, besides one scene where we learn a little more about Davis' motivation and the ending being a bit of ironic fate for one of the detectives, they don't really explore it; thus making a great opportunity, a great, missed opportunity.

This movie was kind of entertaining to say the least. I found the second half to be a lot more intriguing than the first half. If you're looking for a movie that feels as though you would come across it one Friday night as your browsing through Netflix, then by all means, watch it. However, if you're looking for something with more substance, then this may not be the movie for you.

Hangman will be released in theaters and On Demand December 22, 2017.

                         Rating: 1.5 out of 5