DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE (2001)

Starring: John Travolta, Vince Vaughan, Teri Polo, Matthew O'Leary, Steve Buscemi

Director: Harold Becker

Screenplay: Lewis Colick & William S. Comanor

Length: 88 minutes (but feels much longer...!)

Formats: Available in VHS and DVD

Rating: PG-13

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Whoever put up the money for this one should get a refund, or maybe the producers were hoping for a nice fat tax write-off? Billed as a psychological suspense thriller (you know you're in trouble if they use all three words to describe the lame plot!), there is little more than a rehashing of predictable, old, tired ideas that haven't been scary for quite some time.

John Travolta plays Frank Morrison, a craftsman who builds wooden boats the old-fashioned way, by hand. His ex-wife, played by Teri Polo, remarries a guy (Vince Vaughan) who looks like bad news from the moment you first see him on screen. Not to mention his creepy friend, er--business acquaintance, played by Steve Buscemi, in the only believable performance in the movie.

What was she thinking? Not much. At no point in the movie could it be charitably claimed that she did any heavy thinking. And don't even get me started on the laughable final confrontation!

Naturally, the teenage son, Danny (Matthew O'Leary) is resistant to the idea of a new father, especially when he witnesses his new "father" murder someone.

Of course, no one believes the boy's story and this is where things are supposed to get tense, but they never do.

At no time during the film did I generate any sympathetic feelings for the characters. In real life, rather than reel life, they would all have been dead within the first half hour or so and not really missed by anyone in town. Any potential the story idea generated was not developed. I suspect a bad script may have contributed to the overall flatness of the film. Surely the actors and director couldn't have been that bad all by themselves...

If you are a die-hard Travolta fan, then of course, you'll want to see this movie and you may even be able to convince yourself you like it. If you really want suspense or a family in peril, this isn't your movie.

Copyright © 2002 Over My Dead Body! All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Over My Dead Body! is prohibited. OMDB! and OMDB! logos are trademarks of Over My Dead Body!

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Copyright 2002 Over My Dead Body! All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Over My Dead Body! is prohibited. OMDB! and OMDB! logos are trademarks of Over My Dead Body!