"Eye for an Eye"
Opened: January 12, 1996 | Rated: R
I can't tell you how surprised I was when I looked at my watch at the end of "Eye for an Eye." I thought I'd wasted the better part of a day in that theater and the movie was only an hour and a half long.
As the airwaves have been inundated with ads for "Eye for an Eye," you have probably figured out this is Sally Fields' second stab at bringing a mediocre TV movie-of-the-week to the big screen (the first, of course, being "Not Without My Daughter").
In "Eye for an Eye," Fields is a suburban mother whose teenage daughter is murdered and when the killer (Kiefer Sutherland) is set free she takes the law into her own hands.
Not a single moment of this film is a surprise. Every character's every move, every word is wholly predictable, yet hardly any of it is explained.
The movie skips right over every chance it has for exploring real emotion:
A scene ends just as Fields and husband Ed Harris are about to explain to their 6-year-old that her sister is dead. We never see anything to indicate how the little girl is coping.
Sutherland's murderer character has several scenes on his own, none of which is used to reveal anything about his past, his psychoses or his motives.
And the victim has about three minutes of screen time before she is killed, so the audience knows next to nothing about her.
I expected this to be resolved with flashbacks, but there isn't a single scene of the mother or father reminiscing. It's hard to feel attached to any of these people.
What little grief "Eye for an Eye" bothers with is demonstrated on cue and those scenes only last as long as it takes Fields to pull herself together and get on with her day.
There are a couple of very brief moments that invoke queezy thoughts of what it would be like to find someone you love dearly has been murdered, but that collective 30 seconds aside, the only thing that kept me awake was the fact that I was taking notes for this review.
Worst of all, there is only one way "Eye for an Eye" can end. You know it before you even buy the ticket. After all, this film wasn't built for controversy. It was built for those who always wished they could spend seven bucks to see the sweeps week Sunday Night Movie on the big screen.
Is there anyone out there like that?
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