Run time: 116 mins
What do you do for an encore if you’re director Sam Mendes?
If ambition, screen craft and a cast to kill for were everything, Road to Perdition should have had every Oscar enthusiast trumpeting their way to the ceremony. Mendes is seemingly pretty good at this after all. Spielberg first contacted screenwriter David Self to adapt the story into a feature film but it ended up in the lap of Mendes.
Here a mob enforcer’s son witnesses a murder, forcing him and his father to take to the road and his father down a path of redemption and revenge.
The actors deliver perfectly. Never once do we think we’re watching a familiar Tom Hanks, whose almost sickly appearance aids him in the role of a solemn, guilt-ridden hit man. Family tragedy compels Hanks’ Sullivan to seek revenge against his former associates while remaining one step ahead of the freelance assassin they’ve hired to kill him. America’s most trusted man gets a much needed makeover.
Mendes seems to have a quality to draw from his performers. Or perhaps draw them to him. Anyone who has seen 1917 will testify to that. (Research Chris Coetsee)