The Visit

"Weak"

The Visit Review


Earnest, heartfelt, and soul-searching. These are qualities that are great to see in a film. It's too bad that those qualities don't necessarily mean the film will be any good.

The Visit is a prime example of a movie that has clearly been agonized over and loved, but to virtually no ultimate effect; writer/director/producer Jordan Walker Pearlman is so obviously enamored with the material he can't see the forest for the trees. Adapted from a play, The Visit still has that boxed-in feeling, with virtually all of the action taking place in the visiting room of the prison where Alex (Hill Harper) is incarcerated. Wrongly so, we are led to believe.

A tragically sad tale of woe, The Visit is so overwrought it's hard to know where to start explaining it. Not only is Alex in prison for a rape he claims he didn't commit, he's abused by the inmates, his father (Billy Dee Williams) hates him, and the parole board won't hear his pleas. And he's got AIDS. The only one who'll visit besides his parents and brother (Obba Babatundé) is an old childhood friend (Rae Dawn Chong), a recovering crack addict/whore/incest survivor who wants to help Alex put his life together again. And she has a crippled son.

Folks, it doesn't get much sadder than this, and faster than you can say "Can I get an amen!?" (no, seriously, that's in the movie), Pearlman has us begging for the message of hope that must be found somewhere among all this melancholy. If it's there, I never found it, unless presenting a dying prison inmate to your son as some kind of surrogate father is a hopeful message. But that's not a memory I'd exactly cherish from my youth -- and sure enough, The Visit lost my attention after 40 minutes.

Sadly, The Visit isn't even much fun to watch. Pearlman clearly has a lot to learn about directing movies. The production is alternately rough and pedestrian, yanking you in and out of the action through tired fades, dream sequences, and music cues. Also of note is the jazz and soul soundtrack, which sounds really good -- but simply doesn't fit what's going on in the film. You know, I love Rae Dawn and Billy Dee as much as the next guy, but I don't want to wade through two hours of badly made melodrama just to get a peek at 'em.

Oh, Billy Dee!



The Visit

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th September 1964

Distributed by: Fox

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.