96 minutes (of Tedium)

Movies are a lot of things.

They are very complex, very difficult to make, extraordinarily expensive and unbelievably delicate.  This is why we hold famous directors up and give them some praise.  Making a good film is not unlike painting a masterpiece.  It takes time, an iron clad command of the trade, a willingness to push boundaries in the right way and a level of puppet mastery that any U.S. president would be envious of.

Aimee Lagos is not one of these directors, not yet anyway.  And “96 minutes” is not a terribly interesting movie.

The premise is simple enough, maybe.  There is a car jacking.  The two assailants are friends, yet one of them in a distraught state, one which he never seems to not be in the entire film, takes it upon himself to get into a local gang by stealing a car two university girls are taking home.  His friend is against it, but goes along with it under the guise of “protecting” him and “getting them out of this mess”. Sigh.  One girl is shot in the face.  The drama. The intrigue.

During all this there is a lot of non-linear back story, at least half of which does nothing for the plot arc or the development of the characters. In fact most of it is simply abandoned on the side of the road mid-movie.

Critics have praised “96 minutes” essentially for the performances, which are all good, basically.  Particularly Brittany Snow, who easily delivered the performance of her career thus far.  The problems begin to arise while actually sitting through this.  It’s incredibly boring.  The non-linear story telling is excessive and UN-suspenseful.  Although the acting is good, the characters themselves are the most tepid and over worked clichés in Hollywood, so much so that the opening scenes; establishing bits, are cringe worthy.  Lagos’s lack of respect for her audience in these totally transparent moments is akin to someone walking up and nonchalantly placing their penis in your coffee and then simply staring at you, hands on hips, as if to say “Yeah, I did that.”

"Transparent and cliched characters; my dick in your Latte. Deal with it viewer. Because I LIKE IT."

Easily the weakest character in the film, and the most annoying is also the most pivotal.  The character “Kevin” played by Jonathan Michael Trautmann is a member of a particularly despised sliver of America’s cultural landscape known as “Wiggers“.  Nobody likes them, but we all know at least one.  Trautmann is the “bad guy” in “96 minutes” and is simply horrible.  He over acts constantly.  The character “Kevin” is given very little in the way of actual development, so much so that there is no connection or understanding to be found with him.  He ends up simply being the villain who shot the other near extra level actress, Christian Serratos in the face, and then the film is essentially about Brittany Snow and Evan Ross‘s characters, respectively.

“96 minutes” is billed as being based on true events. Fair enough. But many movies that have been based on true events are interesting.  That is what makes a great story-teller.  It isn’t necessarily the story, it’s the way it’s told.  Sadly, Lagos has failed in this latest outing to make anything other than a Brittany Snow career vehicle.

Now, I need to get a fresh cup of coffee with no cocks in it. Excuse me.

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