Star Rating:

Road To Perdition

Actors: Ciaran Hinds, Daniel Craig, Tyler Hoechlin, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dylan Baker

Release Date: Monday 30th November -0001

Running time: 120 minutes minutes

Lavishly produced drama set in 1931 and centring on a hitman's desperate quest for vengeance and redemption. That hitman's name is Michael Sullivan (Hanks), a personal enforcer for John Rooney (Newman), an Irish mob boss living just outside Chicago. When a tragic chain of events, culminating in the murder of Sullivan's wife and youngest child, is set in motion, the hitman and his eldest son, Michael Jr (Hoechlin) are forced to go on the run from Rooney and his associates. First things first, Road to Perdition is a beautifully made film. Conrad L. Hall's cinematography shimmers majestically, while Mendes' sure hand belies his relatively meagre cinematic experience. Yet therein lies one of the problems with Road to Perdition, it's too assured, too textbook-like. The picture appears to be so calculated and so deliberate there's little room for manoeuvre. In other words, infectious spontaneity is not at a premium here. Still, for the most part, the performances are rather impressive. Newman's mere presence is formidable, while Law is surprisingly effective in his supporting role. Hanks, too, is his usual dependable self, but the subconscious air of decency that he naturally exudes doesn't help to make for a really believable performance. Or maybe I'm just being a cynical old hack.