Writer: Michael Caissie, Charles Huttinger (Screenplay)
Starring: Al Pacino, Karl Urban, Brittany Snow, Joe Anderson, Sarah Shahi, Sloane Warren
Plot: A homicide detective teams up with a criminal profiler to catch a serial killer whose crimes are inspired by the children’s game Hangman.
Tagline – The killing game.
Runtime: 1 hour 38 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Tense Mystery Thriller
Story: Hangman starts as FBI Profiler Will Ruiney (Urban) is given the short straw of having to guide a reporter Christi Davies (Snow) around his job just as the latest murder happens, joined by retired homicide detective Ray Archer (Pacino) as the bodies start piling up and now they must stop a serial killer.
When the three learn that the serial killer is playing a game from the childhood game of Hangman, they realize how long they have between murders as they look to figure out just what the motive behind the game is.
Thoughts on Hangman
Characters – Ray Archer is the retired homicide detective that spends his time doing crosswords while supporting his partner through the murder of his wife, he still has the tricks to go against the criminals trying to be the friend Will needs through the latest case. Det Will Ruiney is a profiler that is battling with the murder of his wife, he gets given a reporter to show around, but when this case becomes personal he will not stop until he gets his hands on the serial killer. Christi Davies is the reporter that gets assigned to shadow Will giving her an insight to how the job rolls, this does open the door to her being a help when it comes to different parts of the crime. The Hangman is the serial killer that is playing the games against the cops, he seems to be able to stay one step ahead of them and can predict their next moves.
Performances – Al Pacino is one of the greatest actors of all time, so to see him in any film in the crime world is a pleasure, this role he is good, he doesn’t reach the levels we know he can, but does give us a good performance. Karl Urban is strong in his role we get to see his desperate side through the film. Brittany Snow does well with her role even if her character can feel out of place in certain scenes.
Story – The story here follows two detectives that are tracking a serial killer that is forcing them into a game of Hangman. That is the core of the story which is fine, we establish the idea early and run with it, we have twists along the way to keep us guessing, but the putting the pieces together doesn’t get to happen for the audience, everything we learn is what the detectives learns and you won’t be able to get the outcome by guessing. This does add and take away from the film because it was good to see the killer stay ahead of them and us, but sometime the audience does like to put the pieces together themselves.
Crime/Mystery – The crime is like clockwork and does show what the killer is planning with his kills as the game is left there for them to guess, which adds into the mystery as who is this guy remains the biggest question.
Settings – The film takes place in one city where the crime does start to make the locals panic about what is happening, it shows how a crimewave can bring a town to panic, even if we don’t see it unfold that way.
Final Thoughts – This is a good crime mystery thriller that keeps us guessing to the motivation and identity of the serial killer, which is all we ask in these films.
Overall: Tense thriller that keeps us guessing.