Discuss American Violence

As per the title if you have not seen the movie, stop right here cause I am gonna spill the beans.

At the end of the movie Denise Richards, who plays a psychologist sent to evaluate the case of a multi murderer on death row soon to be executed, recommends that the killer's execution be stayed in the interest of justice and violence prevention. However since she waited until the last few hours to present her findings she had no time to really make her case before the authorities.
They telegraphed it way ahead of time; the inmate was executed as Richards looked at him from the witness area.

So what was her mistake? She should have read the script ahead of time. Then she could presented her findings several days in advance, taking her time to make her case more persuasively. She could have bribed the writers to slip a few changes into the script and had the execution stayed. Seems like a pretty simple thing for an experienced actress to do.
But she didn't, and Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau was put to death, a terrible waste of an actor, supremely dedicated to his craft. The poor guy didn't even get a happy ending before his death. Such a shame.

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Denise Richards, who plays a psychologist

Clearly, whoever was behind the casting of this one didn't agonize through DR's stab at playing a nuclear physicist in Tomorrow Never Dies. Spoiled any chance of this being a remotely believably film with such a blunder.

Just tried to watch this - failed miserably as did the film. Main failure was a monstrously miscast former model ( says it all ) trying to act - a hopelessly hackneyed storyline and as I read the above by write2 topcat - (thanks for saving me from suffering to the very end) I now know the ending was exactly as I had envisaged. Dreadful.

Yeah, I've seen other death row films where they do the same thing; they telegraph that the guy is going to die despite the best efforts of those trying to have the execution stayed. They telegraph the failures of the legal team to get things done on time, or the intransigence of the judge, or whatever. They drag out the maudlin hand wringing, the desperate last minute efforts, and the family crying with the inmate.

I hate the transparent manipulation of the audience. We can tell the efforts will fail, and we are forced to watch the legal team agonizing, racing against the clock, learning that exculpatory evidence cannot be presented past a certain point in time, and showing up at 1 minute past time. No matter where I stand on an issue, I hate the blatant emotional manipulation these film makers attempt. It's an exercise in feeling awful brought about more by cheap plot devices than the issue.

I also hate the idea that any crime - however monstrous - can be forgiven if the perpetrator was abused as a child - was a drug addict - the product of a dysfunctional family - etc etc. I think in these over liberal times there is an excuse for anything and the concept of simply being evil has been forgotten.

@strangebedfellows said:

I also hate the idea that any crime - however monstrous - can be forgiven if the perpetrator was abused as a child - was a drug addict - the product of a dysfunctional family - etc etc. I think in these over liberal times there is an excuse for anything and the concept of simply being evil has been forgotten.

DITTO

I think the writer CS Lewis wrote something about this. He spoke of a boy who lied and cheated and stole. The boy had been very unfortunate in his childhood. Lewis basically said that while we can feel sorry about his unfortunate upbringing, it is still this boy who lies, and cheats, and steals. He must still face the consequences of his actions. Mitigating circumstances don't negate the crime. True repentance is good, yet it doesn't change what you did and reparations must still be made, if indeed it is even possible to make them.

He got it right.

I think in these over liberal times there is an excuse for anything and the concept of simply being evil has been forgotten.

On the contrary; we were all reminded of evil's existence when Tinseltown, not having been content with defiling our childhood memories of GhostBusters with a remake that tried to cash in on our current "men are bad" zeitgeist, embarked on a similar hatchet job with Ocean's 11. The enormity is magnified by the strong likelihood that neither Anne Hathaway nor Rhianna will be getting naked during this one

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