Movie Review: Hangman (2017)

Synopsis: A year after his wife's brutal murder, a still-grieving Det. Will Ruiney, with the help of his ex-partner, Ray Archer, and investigative journalist Christi Davies, ends up investigating a serial killer that is using his victims to play a sick game of Hangman. With a new murder every 24 hours, Will must figure out how the killer connects to either his or Ray's past.

Who's in it? The movie stars Al Pacino, Karl Urban, Brittany Snow, Sarah Shahi and Joe Anderson.

Review: I came across this movie on one of my streaming platforms about a week ago and, after seeing I would need to pay extra for it, decided to pick up a copy for free at the library. My wife and I watched it last night and it turned out to be worth the 6-block drive.

I'll start out by saying the film does require you to ignore some glaring questions about police procedure, including the decision to bring in a retired cop as a consultant, allowing a journalist to walk around active crime scenes, and allowing a detective to pursue the man who killed his wife. However, those things aside, there were quite a few things to like about this film.

One thing, in particular, I found I liked about this movie was the set time limit between each murder. The 24-hour gap was enough for them to find new clues but, at the same time, was just short enough for their frustration to grow each time the clock hit 11 p.m. Even the couple times they managed to get ahead of him, their near success would also turn out to be a setback because he wouldn't leave a clue pointing to the next victim.

At first, I wasn't a big fan of the reporter (Snow) tagging along with them but was impressed with the way she discovered some of the clues before they did (maybe she should consider becoming a detective). My opinion didn't change even after she predictably became one of the killer's potential victims, though her very long speech in the car was a admittedly a bit much.

My only real complaint about the movie is, while his obsession with Ray (Pacino) made some sense, I am still a bit confused about why the killer also insisted on having Ruiney (Urban) involved and pursued his wife. I feel like there might have been more to that story. Of course, to be fair, the movie might have actually addressed that with the ending, which pointed to a potential sequel, so I guess I'll give that a pass for now.

Final Opinion: This was an entertaining and suspenseful film that my wife and I both enjoyed. I'd recommend taking the time to watch it if you haven't seen it.

My Grade: A-


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