February 21, 2011

Quick Review: The Pledge (2001)

The Pledge is a creepy (and a bit of a depressing) movie. It's about a retired cop who, on the night of his retirement party, takes up one last case by pledging to catch the killer of a young girl. He's apparently a sucker for distraught mothers.

And when Mickey Rourke is playing the Dad of said girl, you just don't refuse, even if you're Jack Nicholson... got it?!?! Don't make Mickey smack you one in the mouth!

So he moves into the country, buys a gas station (seriously), and sets up shop... Jack Nicholson's creep-finding shop! He hooks up with Sean Penn's hot, but oddly-toothless wife and her kid, becomes like a dad to her, and heads off on an obsessive mission to find the "Wizard", and stop him from killing little kids.

Is he the creeper?
I suppose this is more of a drama than a true thriller, but it's the serial killer aspect of the movie that gives it its tone and drives it forward. Jack Nicholson and his hunt for the mysterious "Wizard" and his creepy little child luring porcupines is unsettling indeed.

Nicholson's portrayal of a far-beyond-driven retired cop, who basically finds himself consumed with this unsanctioned "case" he's adopted, is a thing of beauty to see. He still chews scenery with the best of them in this movie. He even tugs on your heart strings.

Directed by Sean Penn and starring Jack, Robin Wright Penn, Aaron Eckhart, Benicio Del Toro, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Patricia Clarkson, Helen Mirren, and Vanessa Redgrave (good lord that's a hell of a cast), The Pledge is a great film that shows exactly what kind of toll a serial killer can have on those whose lives they affect. It also shows what lengths a man will go to to see his obsession satisfied, in this case, using a child as bait to catch her would be killer.

Nobody makes Mickey Rouke cry, and escapes justice! Nobody!
This is a superb movie, that forces a feeling of unease to settle in your bones that never quite leaves. Aside from the ending, which made sens but left things a tad too open for my liking, this is a must see for all fans of serial killers and the damage that they do to their victims, both alive and dead.



Sean Penn's wife is in this.

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