Hangman is just another in a long line of forgettable thrillers you probably pass on by at your local Wal-Mart and while this one does at least star Al Pacino and Karl Urban, I’m not entirely sure it’s worthwhile, though I suppose there were worse movies out there to watch.
Lionsgate | R – 99 min. – $21.99 | February 27, 2018
Date Published: 02/24/2018 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE — 2.5/5
Generally, I do enjoy crime-thrillers from the now cancelled CSI to the masterpiece Se7en and even these video-on-demand debuts such as Solace. So, with a respectable cast and what could’ve been an entertaining if not throwaway suspense-thriller, Hangman doesn’t have much that stands out from the odd TV movie, only this one starred Al Pacino and Karl Urban.
The plot centers around the hunt for a serial killer nicknamed the Hangman who leaves images of the child’s game at the crime scenes with the victims hanging from a noose and a letters carved into the bodies. On the trail are retired Detective Ray Archer (AL PACINO), his old partner Detective Will Ruiney (KARL URBAN) and decorated reporter Christi Davies (BRITTANY SNOW) forced upon them by the town’s mayor. At each scene, not only do they get a letter filled in, the killer also leaves a clue to his next victim and he has chosen these two detectives specifically, carving their badge numbers at the first crime scene, each having a particular connection to him.
Hangman isn’t a terrible movie but certainly half cooked with some stilted or strange dialogue, like one where Davies tells of her appreciation for the work of the detectives due to an incident in her past, along with poor editing that really was noticeable in the climax. But despite those issues, alongside the standard direction by longtime stuntman Johnny Martin — this marking this third feature-length film —, the saving grace was a cast who I think were at least giving their all, even Al Pacino whom I had feared gave up after Jack and Jill. No, it’s still not classic Pacino, that man is probably gone alongside Robert De Niro, but it’s never a bad thing to see him in a primary role again.
The other cast members served their roles well enough. Karl Urban, and this might’ve been due to the dark lighting, really didn’t look like him at times, but he had a few nice moments with his character having a personal connection with the Hangman while Brittany Snow ain’t exactly a believable ace reporter, though I am a fan of hers so I guess it’s good seeing her outside of the Pitch Perfect franchise, but somebody with more gravitas would’ve been more suitable (like Maggie Gyllenhaal). Also, the lovely Sarah Shahi does have a small role as the wheelchair-bound police captain.
In the end, Hangman is merely one of those movies that will be, and should be, forgotten and destined for bargain bins at Wal-Mart or found on the cheap from Amazon. Is it worth a watch in spite of the issues? Sure, especially for the cast but don’t expect to walk away with anything all that memorable.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.75/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. This is light on bonus material with only two featurettes: Al Pacino: Insight from a Hollywood Legend (6:35; HD) which is an interview with the actor talking about what drew him to the role and Hangman: In Their Own Words (14:05; HD), sound-bites with the cast and crew on the project.
Previews – 24 Hours to Live, Bullet Head, Blood Money, Acts of Vengeance, Shot Caller
VIDEO – 4.25/5
|Hangman plays games on Blu-ray presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Although this is a rather dark looking movie, in keeping with the crime-thriller genres, I thought detail was pretty sharp and whenever there are bright scenes, there are some minor pops of color where skin tones are natural in appearance.
AUDIO – 3.5/5
|The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is on the basic side, however. While dialogue levels, coming mainly from the center channel, were good and you’re able to understand whatever is being said, everything else came across a bit soft. There are a couple scenes that showcase some depth such as car crashes, otherwise it was a lackluster lossless track.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, Hangman is just another in a long line of forgettable thrillers you probably pass on by at your local Wal-Mart and while this one does at least star Al Pacino and Karl Urban, I’m not entirely sure it’s worthwhile, though I suppose there were worse movies out there to watch. The Blu-ray release offers solid video, so-so audio and some weak special features.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.