Film: Death Sentence [2007]

Death Sentence is a 2007 crime thriller film directed by James Wan, the mastermind of the Saw film series. The film is based from a book of the same title by Brian Garfield that was published on 1975. I was so stoked to see the transition of James Wan whose previous works are always horror-themed. Can a James Wan deliver the precise amount of thrill to the audience without horrifying them? After watching the film, my answer is a big YES. 

I confess that this film has brought me to tears (lots of tears) – from the first tragic scene to the last. I can say that this would much fall under a thriller tragedy than a crime thriller. At first, I have thought of it as a gangster drama (like Once Upon A Time in America) but the drama here isn’t occupied within the gangsters. So it isn’t a gangster drama. A gangster war? Nope, the war here is between a group of gangsters and a father (Kevin Bacon as Nick Hume) whose son was randomly killed as a part of a gang’s initiation process.

A lot of scenes in this film made me cover my mouth in suspense. The film then uncovers what retribution really means. The default thinking of the oppressed souls is that revenge is the cure to their grief. Is it really the cure? Or is it an entrance to a recurring vengeance with no exit but death?

The trial: Nick Hume (right) with the muderer of his son (left).

I am also so impressed with Kevin Bacon, he perfectly acted a role that shifts from being a good father of a perfect family to a vengeful gang-killing machine.

James Wan is indeed a talented director. I’ve heard many negative things about him, especially by critics. But they didn’t know what a James Wan can deliver to a spectator. I’ve watched classic films whose ratings are so up but made me bored watching. What I just experienced by watching Death Sentence is real. I felt the tragedy struck me. Every scene on this film struck me harder. This is one tragedy film you shouldn’t miss.

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IMDB | Rated-R | 110 minutes | Buy it on Amazon: [DVD | BluRay]

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