Crash Analysis: 2.13 (2009)

Fell apart

A profiler gets back on the job after a breakdown and nearly loses his mind – again

This is one of those horror/thrillers that makes me angry. This movie, written and staring, Mark Thompson (who was fabulous), has some all too blatant errors that force what could have been a great tale to fall apart in every plot driven way. Directed by Charles Adelman, this character study and police procedural leaves much to be desired due to poor plotting and casting.

First, the cast was excellent (though Teri Polo seemed far too reserved at times), however, I wanted to see more of Jere Burns (Jeffrey) and his relationship with partner Russell Spivey (Thompson). Regardless, the pair is called to a murder scene where a woman is found nailed to a ceiling. And this is Spivey’s first case since coming off “forced” leave since he had trouble dealing with the near death of his girlfriend, fellow detective, Amanda Richardson (Polo). But as the mystery unfolds, Spivey steps up and leads the way to expose the killer who appears to be on a serial rampage. The problem, however, is that Spivey seems to be a target of the killer, who uses Shakespearian references in his crimes.

The dialogue and interchange between characters is excellent, and the suspense is quite solid. Sadly, as with most thrillers, they come apart because we can either see the identity of the killer from a mile away, or genre-based clichés reign supreme, or the writer takes us down a path of unbelievability – sadly, this movie has all three.

 ***Spoilers abound concerning major flaws***

Adelman’s first mistake is that he never should have hired Dean E. Fronk and Donald Paul Pemrick for casting. If the victims and killer are many years older than Spivey, why is he ten years older than them? This is clearly awful that it’s shameful and undermines the storyline.

When Spivey realizes his girlfriend is in danger, does he send nearby officers to her door? Hell no. He does what every cop does in a situation like this, he goes on his own. (Although he did bring his partner along.) Of course, he gets there just in time – yawn. Once again, poliec procedure is thrown out the window detracting from any sense of reality.

Spivey becomes a master of hypnosis in a heartbeat. Not going to happen. In fact, he’s hypnotized by his therapist without any setup, plan or what have you, which makes it all look so damn easy. Again, it’s unreal and will undoubtedly force many to roll their eyes.

By the way, I’d like to know of a poison that works on a delay, can attack the body at a specific time of day, and make someone bleed from the eyes. When this occurred in the movie, I nearly fell off my couch.

Now, don’t try this at home, but there’s no way for a piece of thick glass to be thrust into someone’s head. The only thing that could plunge that through a skull is a high-power tornado. What a stupid move. I doubt anyone in the audience could have suspended that much belief. Then again, by the time this occurs, all the aforementioned had taken place, so what did it matter?

            Furthermore, the editing was jarring at times, which at first worked well with the mayhem of the murders, and helped to create a helter skelter atmosphere. But once we learn that the story has some major holes, Russell Harnden III’s editing becomes an issue. However, I don’t think Harnden is to blame. Due to the misgivings of the tale, he may have had little choice in his construction of the film.

Overall, what could have been a rock solid character study and taut thriller, 2.13 became the victim of a convoluted plot that had major sinkholes to fill.

The 2.5 stars goes to the acting (including Kevin Pollack as Spivey’s overly-patient therapist), lighting and make-up.

Why no one on the set pointed out the problems during 2.13’s shoot is beyond me – and is far beyond logic.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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