A PERFECT WORLD is really two movies. The main movie is a serious
one staring Kevin Costner and an 8 year old new comer named T. J.
Lowther. The other movie is a comedy with Clint Eastwood and Laura
The comedy takes up a full third of the movie, and it is awful and
full of cliches. I am not sure how it got stuck in this picture. My
only guess is that they thought the picture would be too downbeat
otherwise and might be criticized for glorifying criminals. Eastwood
and Dern should have read the ridiculous script by John Lee Hancock and
refused the roles. Since Eastwood was also the producer and director,
I guess he thought knew what he was doing.
Going for it, the serious movie has two excellent performance in
the title roles. The chemistry Costner and Lowther is quite effective.
Reminds you of a Daddy and a son who love each other very much, but in
the movie the little boy is a hostage. Going against it, is that the
movie, except for the ending, does glorify criminal behavior, and it
certainly makes you feel sorry for Costner's character since he only
murders for reasons he thinks are valid. Interesting logic that.
Finally, why do movies always hold religion in a bad light, but
not murdering or stealing? You are taught in this movie to despise the
boy's moma (Jennifer Griffin) because their religion does not allow
trick or treating, but you are set up to applaud which he steals a
Halloween costume because he deserves it. Sigh.
A PERFECT WORLD runs 2:18 for reasons I can not fathom. This is a
little movie and should have a brief running time. The editor (Joel
Cox) must have been asleep at his desk. The movie is rated PG-13, but
I would have given it an R for its violence and adult themes. I give
the movie ** for the two lead performances but can not bring myself to
recommend the show.
Copyright © 1995 Steve Rhodes