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

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

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.