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A Perfect World

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: A Perfect World

Starring: Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood
Director: Clint Eastwood
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 136 Minutes
Release Date: January 1993
Genres: Drama, Suspense

*Also starring: Laura Dern, T.J. Lowther, Keith Szarabajka, Leo Burmester, Paul Hewitt, Bradley Whitford, Ray McKinnon, Jennifer Griffin, Bruce McGill

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

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 Dern.

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

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