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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Drama > Crime > Bobby Z (2006)

Bobby Z (2006)


Picture: C     Sound: B–     Extras: C-     Film: C-



The rise and fall of Paul Walker as a movie star is a sad example of how the Hollywood Star System has collapsed.  Coming from television (they can’t find people outside of the medium anymore?), Walker landed a role in the underrated Pleasantville, but soon found himself in commercial schlock (She’s All That, Joy Ride) when 2 Fast 2 Furious became a surprise hit.  This unfortunately sent the wrong signal that he was somehow a star and bombs like Timeline and Into The Blue followed.


Bobby Z (aka The Death & Life Of Bobby Z, 2006) was intended as a vehicle for Walker to take more control of his career, so he co-produced it and managed to even sign Laurence Fishburne to co-star.  Unfortunately, his previous non-hit Running Scared was such a bomb (leaving most who actually saw it wondering what it was supposed to be about) that Bobby Z was left mostly unreleased in theaters.


Playing an ex-Marine convict (I can see why they put him in jail), a DEA agent (Fishburne) realizes he just happens to look like the title character (who has been killed, played by Jason Lewis) and he will try to fill in to get the goods, women (Olivia Wilde, from the underrated TV series The Black Donnellys) and benefits if he can just survive the DEA and a bike gang who wants him dead.


To say the film is contrived beyond belief does not begin to explain how bad the Bob Krakower/Allen Lawrence screenplay is, even based on some novel by Don Winslow (who has another book Scorsese is supposed to be making into a film; hope it is better than this).  For some reason, it has been calculated that Walker’s fans are shallow viewers with very limited attention spans that need every twist, turn, fight and tough guy moment possible in their films.  Unfortunately, that means they have very little resembling a narrative, action, thriller or otherwise.


The result is a sometimes laughable mish mash of a film and also wastes our time, along with the talents of Jason Flemyng and Joaquim de Almeida.  John Herzfeld, who gave us the Olivia Newton-John/John Travolta bomb Two Of A Kind, has not improved as a director in 15 years and may be getting worse.  Throw in some gay-baiting, punching, gun shooting and real life wrestler Chuck Liddell (hope he got paid well) and you can see why the film was barely released in theaters.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is shot in Super 35 and looks as generic as it sounds, with terrible editing and pacing that is unbelievably choppy.  There is also a 1.33 X 1 version, but both are surprisingly soft and detail challenged, with the overall effect being one that is awfully forgettable visually.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix tries to cover up all the problems with loud noises and overly sweetened sounds throughout.  Tim Jones score is lame too, but then, what did he really have to work with here?  The only extras is a behind the scenes featurette that comes across as desperate.


Skip this one.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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