The Life Of David Gale (2003)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B. 

USA/Germany, 2003Universal Pictures, Intermedia Films, Dirty Hands Productions, Mikona Productions GmbH & Co. KG, Saturn Films.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Alan Parker.  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .    Berlin Film Festival 2003

This shameful ripoff of Dead Man Walking stars a smarmy (who has never been worse) as a convict on death row for the murder of his anti-death penalty colleague and best friend (). Spacey recounts his story to an earnest journalist () who begins to realize that he could possibly be innocent of the crime and now she has to race against time to prove it. Painfully overwrought camera shots and editing tricks try to blind side you from the fact that this is a manipulative and exploitative story, one whose characters aren’t worth the least bit of your time. The final twist at the end is purely the concoction of a runaway screenwriter who is more interested in finding new ways to shock audiences (and insult their apparent lack of intelligence) than to tell them a decent story. Parker, whose films are as hit-and-miss as they get, has sunk pretty low in the past to meet what he feels are audience expectations, but this is the worst it has ever been.

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