Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 01/07/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"TRAIL OF A SERIAL KILLER is a moody, sometimes incoherent, not always involving, thriller. Directed by the ubiquitous Damian Lee, it stars Chris Penn (Sean's younger, but not littler, brother) as an FBI agent haunted by a serial killer who has yet to be captured. After a four year hiatus (which is never really explained), the killer known as ALONE (Penn's character's name spelled backwards) strikes again, this time including a sexy psychiatrist in his schemes. While I credit the scriptwriter for some intriguing red herrings, the identity of the serial killer is both predictable and rather disappointing.
Penn is no Sean Penn as an actor, that's for sure. But he possesses an earnestness and conviction that makes his strange character appealing; Michael Madsen (ersatz Bruce Willis wannabe) is once again sleepy eyed and lethargic, and Chad McQueen is all but lost as one of the lovely doctor's patients. Jennifer Dale is lacking in thespian skills and one wonders what a more accomplished actress could have done with the role.
The ending is way overboard and the resolution rather empty, but there are still some worthwhile moments in this movie."