In 88 Minutes Al Pacino is Jack Gramm, a troubled college professor whose forensic psychiatrist testimony put serial killer Jon Forster (Neal McDonough) on death row. On the eve of the execution Gramm receives a mysterious phone call informing him that he only has 88 minutes to live. As the minutes speed by Gramm narrowly escapes several attempts on his life as he and some of his students (including Alicia Witt, Leelee Sobieski, and Benjamin McKenzie) attempt to track down the mysterious caller.
88 Minutes was shot two years ago in Vancouver and has been languishing on the shelf ever since, save for a DVD release in Brazil. Too bad for us that it made its way from the shelf to our theatres. From its ridiculous story to Pacino’s poodle hair 88 Minutes is an ill advised mess.
It’s a thriller with no thrills that ineptly tires to use the “real time” tricking clock to create tension and excitement. 88 Minutes? It feels more like 88 hours as Pacino sleepwalks through this absurd waste of time. Even though Pacino’s character is trying to beat the clock to avoid a mysterious death sentence I guarantee you’ll be looking at your watch more often than he does during the film’s running time.
Years ago actress Jennifer Tilly told me that whenever she’s made a really bad movie it’s because she needed the money to put a new roof on her guest house or the like. With that in mind, and having just seen 88 Minutes, I wonder how the renovation on Pacino’s guest house went.