"Crime + Punishment" DVD Review
Crazy Jim | Massachusetts | 06/02/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Rob Schmidt's modern day take on Dostoyevsky is a promising film that is so drowned in glossy imagery and bleak characters that it never seems to generate the type of interest in story-telling that it should. Monica Keena is the beautiful head cheerleader who seems to have the perfect life but in reality is trapped in a suburban nightmare. Vincent Kartheiser ("Another Day In Paradise") is the token bright but misunderstood outcast who lusts for Keena but can't find a way to her heart. When she murders her abusive stepfather with the help of her jock boyfriend, the evidence ends up pointing to her mother. This leads to a cycle of events that never seem to be captured with the level of drama or intesity that you'd expect. "Crime + Punishment" is as dark and devoid of energy as Larry Clark's "Kids" or Darren Aronofsky's "Requeim For A Dream" but it doesn't stand out the way they did. There are some solid perfomances from Keena and the always-dependable Michael Ironside as her drunken stepdad but none of the characters ever seem to stand out. While the story bares a passing resemblance to "American Beauty" in some areas, Schmidt never seems to move past his love for visual flare and give us any type of intriguing character moments. Keena's closing narrative makes for a good way to end the film but it seems like a case of "too little, too late" in my opinion."