It is difficult to move forward without giving anything away, so let it suffice to say that Washington’s fine acting takes us into the final act taking deep breaths. We are unsure what will happen, but the continuing problem I had was knowing too much. In a film like Doubt we have a different problem: is the priest guilty or not? Here we already know Whip is guilty, so the issues are not as pressing. In the end it is more a question of do we care enough about Whip and the story, and I just didn’t feel as if I got to the place I needed to be as a viewer.
It bothers me that what could have been an amazing premise gets squandered here. Washington does the job and then some, but he is like a guy in full scuba gear being dropped into a baby pool. Yes, he is ready for anything, but his surroundings do not warrant his capability or preparedness. Washington makes the effort here, but the results are less than satisfying and left me feeling like something was missing.
By the time we get to the denouement, there is a pretty much standard kind of ending that left me wanting more. It’s as if Zemeckis has forgotten all about why life is like a box of chocolates, but sadly here we know what we’re getting and it’s just not enough.
Photo credits: Paramount Pictures