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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.