Hangman, a 2017 thriller, popped up as newly added to Netflix, and when I saw it starred Al Pacino, Karl Urban, Brittany Snow, and Sarah Shahi, I decided to give it a try.
The film follows decorated retired homicide detective Ray Archer (Pacino) and his partner, ex FBI agent Will Ruiney, (Urban) as they are tasked with catching a vicious serial killer who is playing a twisted version of the children’s game Hangman.
Crime journalist Christi Davies (Snow) shadows the detectives, but it’s hard to tell if she helps or is a hinderance…especially since she screams a lot. Shahi plays Ruiney’s boss at the station, and is criminally underused.
The cast is great with what they have to work with, but ultimately it’s the script that drags down the film.
The Hangman premise doesn’t fully work, and leaves so many unanswered questions. Without it, the film plays as a typical crime drama.
It also feels like Pacino was phoning it in. For Pacino, it’s still a good performance, but nothing stellar. Urban channels his inner gruff guy, and Snow (whom I loved in the Pitch Perfect movies) seems out of place.
It really wants to be of the caliber of “Seven,” right down to the creepy “twist” ending, but there are so many huge plot holes it doesn’t even come close.
It’s not the worst hour and a half you’ll spend, but I really expected better given the caliber of acting talent.
I’d give it a 2.3 out of 5 stars…wait Hangman is a game of letters, so I give this film a D.
Director: Johnny Martin
Cast: Al Pacino, Karl Urban, Brittany Snow, Sarah Shahi
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