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Already Dead

Score: 84%
Rating: R
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home

Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 93 Mins.
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Audio: English 5.1, Thai 5.1, Spanish
           5.1 (Dolby Digital), French
           (Dolby Surround)

Subtitles: English, Korean, Thai, Spanish,
           Chinese, French


  • Deleted Scenes
  • Previews

Already Dead is a peculiar movie that almost felt like a combination of Saw and Die Hard. Let me explain. The story is a thriller that revolves around a father's revenge against the killers of his young son and is told through a series of flashbacks from the night that began this family's horror, combined with scenes from the present. As you watch Tom Archer (Ron Eldard, Black Hawk Down) frantically board the subway carrying a large satchel of cash, following instructions from an odd, disembodied voice on a cell phone, one can only assume that his son has been kidnapped and he is searching for the boy. However, his final destination is an abandoned industrial complex and the person he is searching for appears to be his son's killer, trussed up in a chair and awaiting Tom's vengeance.

Tom's actions are being watched through a closed circuit camera in the corner and he is given instructions on his cell phone to kill the man in the chair, as he is definitely his son's killer. Unable to contain his rage, Tom rips off the hood to see a gagged man before him, one who shakes his head insistently when asked if he remembers the boy. Of course, Tom beats the living bejeezus out of the man, using a variety of tools left by his "instructors", including a steel pipe, a bat, a hammer and nails, etc. He also holds a large drill to the man's head, but decides to save that for later. This is where it feels like Saw and can be a little hard to stomach. What we come to realize is that Tom, unable to get satisfaction for his son's case through the police department, sought other means of justice. His therapist, Dr. Heller (Christopher Plummer), puts him in touch with a group that delivers, for a large price.

However, as Tom is nailing the man's hand to the chair, he has a flashback of a strange tattoo on his son's killer's hand, one that this man does not have. He begins to have doubts that this is his son's killer. He calls for Dr. Heller, who joins them, and Tom decides he must escape and save this man's life. Now, hold it right there - first off, I didn't believe this guy would just forgive and forget after the whole "nail in hand" incident, among other things. Next, I didn't think he'd be too deft at escaping through a huge complex after old Tom has destroyed his knee with the bat and pipe, plus most assuredly broke a number of his ribs, but alas... I also found things to be a bit predictable. I guessed he wouldn't be the son's killer, along with several other "twists" along the way. But truth told, I actually started to enjoy this movie once the two escaped and had to fight for their lives. As it turns out, "the man" (Til Schweiger) is a bad guy, a killer even, just not Tom's son's killer. The group makes a bundle of money by ridding society of a deserving murderer, all the while giving a victim a sense of justice and empowerment. So you don't have the real killer - who cares? Well, Tom Archer cares and he becomes a big problem for this group.

As Tom and "the man" make their way through the warehouse, they realize that the group means to kill them both and they find bombs, etc. littering the warehouse, which, of course, insures a fiery ending to the film. It also seems that Tom's new compadre is a damn good shot and is most probably a hired killer. The two are able to work their way through the warehouse, picking off the bad guys, until they finally make a shocking discovery as to who the group really is and why they did what they did. It's yet another twist, one which I mostly figured out way early (who they are), but was still left a bit unsettled as to the "why" of it all. But I won't ruin it for you should you decide to see it for yourself. I was actually hoping the three deleted scenes in the Special Features would shed a little light on this, but instead, two of the three scenes were already in the movie. Huh? The third one doesn't really show anything additional and can be skipped.

Already Dead is not a bad movie and quite frankly, up until the last minute of the movie, it was going to score about 5 points lower. But it's got a really good and satisfying ending that made the ride worthwhile. I say this because towards the end, I found myself thinking that there's no way this can have a good ending, but then it pulls it off. The acting is solid, the plot a bit predictable and the torture unsettling. But once the pair goes on the run in the warehouse and starts to exact a little hometown revenge (hence the Die Hard comparison), it gets more enjoyable. This probably isn't one to watch over and over, but if you like thrillers, you may want to give this one a rent.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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