Director: Tim Hunter

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

ControlI can't imagine why this went direct to video. Control has star power with Ray Liotta, Willem Defoe & Stephen Rea, great cinematography, a first-rate script, plenty of action, with an emotional depths rarely seen in pure action thrillers.

Liotta is Lee Ray Oliver, a psychopath on death row who gets a second chance at life when transferred to an experimental treatment center & placed under the control of the research physician (Defoe).

ControlGranny Artemis has often assessed the strength of a lock, window, or barrier of any kind, with the observation "It wouldn't keep Ray Liotta out." In Control he does one of the things he does best: rages as the psycho no door will stop.

But more interesting than that, he gets to do the other thing he also does well: play the sensitive macho.

As his psychosis peels away & Lee Ray achieves his first taste of what it means to be a feeling human being, the cruel fates would put him in the situation of having to drawn on his capacity for unrestrained viciousness to save those he loves.

It's an obvious tale, but it has not been done too often, & with such good acting it all becomes much more than cheap irony, but is genuinely heroic & sad.

In the other primary fork of the story, Ray Lee always protects himself because his extreme violence had always been focused against fellow bad guys. But he once killed someone innocent, & as his humanity grows, so also does his regretful sense of guilt. He is overwhelmed by a desire to make some kind of amends.

There is one "suprise" too many in the small plot; I won't say what it is but you'll give a little eye-roll & a groan at one point near the end. But overall this is a cool little film that delivers violence & emotion in good balance. exciting escapist entertainment with for once some humanity intact.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

[ Film Home ] - [ Film Reviews Index ]
[ Where to Send DVDs for Review ] - [ Paghat's Giftshop ]