|BLUE CAPRICE (director/writer: Alexandre Moors; screenwriter: R.F. I. Porto/based on a story by Mr. Moors and Mr. Porto; cinematographer: Brian O’Carroll; editors: Alexandre Moors/Gordon Grinberg; music: Colin Stetson/Sarah Neufeld; cast: Isaiah Washington (John Allen Muhammed), Tequan Richmond (Lee Malvo), Tim Blake Nelson (Ray), Joey Lauren Adams (Jamie), Leo Fitzpatrick (Arms Dealer), Cassandra Freeman (Angela); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating:R; producers: Alexandre Moors/Will Rowbotham/Kim Jackson/Stephen Tedeschi/Mr. O’Carroll/Ron Simons/Isen Robbins/Aimee Schoof; IFC FILMS; 2012)|
stars giving mesmerizing performances, failed
to entertain or educate us more about
psychopathic serial killers."
by Dennis Schwartz
film debut of New York residing French filmmaker
Alexandre Moors is a well-executed but difficult to
watch thriller that's based on a true
story by Moors and R.F.
I. Porto. It takes educated
guesses at what was in the heads of the father
and surrogate son killers behind the horrific 2002
Beltway random sniper attacks perpetrated by the
twisted brooding father John Allen Muhammed
(Isaiah Washington) and the manipulated,
psychologically-dependent, 17-year-old Lee Malvo
(Tequan Richmond). Their three-week killing spree left
ten dead in the area of D.C., Maryland
and Virginia, and sent fear across that wide stretch
until they were apprehended in a manhunt.
pic tries to explain the monstrous behavior by an
embittered John, in the midst of a custody battle with
his wife, who goes bonkers when his kids, after he
kidnaps them and takes them to Antigua, are sent by
the court back to his wife. With his real kids gone,
John brings teenager Malvo, a native of Antigua,
living on his own when mom abandons him, back to the
States and treats him as family. They reside for
awhile in Tacoma, Washington, where the two
live with a white rifle-loving military buddy of
Muhammad’s, Ray (Tim Blake Nelson), who
practice together target shooting.
Meanwhile John cooks up a dangerous irrational scheme
to get back at the system he believes screwed him.
violence begins when John encourages the taciturn and
obedient Malvo to prove his loyalty to him by killing
a woman neighbor who testified against him in his
bitter child-custody case. Malvo, a crack shot, passes
the test with flying colors and the rest is bad
history, as the duo ride around the D.C. area in their
blue Chevy Caprice looking for vics to gun
down with their high-powered Bushmaster
blood-curdling story ripped from the newspaper
headlines, that despite its stars giving mesmerizing
performances, failed to entertain or educate us more
about why the psychopathic serial killers did what
they did. Its chilling story brought little to our
attention that wasn't already reported by the media
and seeing it again played out was only more
disturbing--doing no one any good. To its credit, the
filmmaker never yields to sensationalism, and
in a tastefully and in a subdued way films the
killings and arrest.
note, John was executed in 2009, and Malvo is serving
a series of consecutive life sentences. Both killers
remained remorseless over their insane crimes and
provoke no sympathy. We know about as little about
them as we knew before the film.
REVIEWED ON 12/6/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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