There have been a rash of serial killer films lately. A few are good, most are bad, then you have that rare case where you get some in the middle. Just enough to make them good, but enough wrong to make them just ok. That’s where Hangman, a new release starring Al Pacino, and Karl Urban comes in.
Urban play’s Will Ruiney, the lead detective, and in this films case lead actor, on the trail of a serial killer who is using the game Hangman as his inspiration for the murders, so yes we do see lots of hanging necks. Ruiney is a troubled cop as well, as his wife was murdered, and her case is still unsolved. During a crime scene investigation of one of the Hangman murders Ruiney finds two numbers carved into the victims desk. Those numbers are his, and retired detective Ray Archer, played by Al Pacino's badge numbers. Now to make matters worse, The Hangman is committing a murder every 24hrs. As the murders are based on Hangman the game, the letter clues left are seeming to string the homicides together. To make things even worse our two detectives have to deal with Christi Davies (Brittany Snow) a reporter who is shadowing the detectives in the hopes of getting exclusive rights on the story.
The killer my be a brilliant sociopath, but Ray Archer was one of the best detectives ever, and now that he has come out of retirement to solve the case, the real game of cat and mouse begins. Sounds good, well…..
Smart Serial Killer vs smart seasoned cop has been done, and the fact that the film Seven was so amazing it makes anything with that formula hard to follow. Sadly this film could have followed it, and perhaps blown it away if Pacino was more into it. No I don’t mean screen time, I mean into his role. Sadly he merely sleepwalks through his part spouting off lines in stereotypical fashion . Unfortunately this has become a trend in recent times with great older actors looking to simply get a big payday.
The other issue I had was the solving of the clues. I mean there was no way possible a super computer, or even Batman could have deciphered some of this stuff. It takes far fetched to a new level.
As serial killer, cat and mouse games films go this is average. I won't recommend buying it but a rental or cable viewing will be ok.
Overall 2 out of 5 Stars