DVD Review Hennessy
Directed by: Don Sharp Cast: Rod Steiger, Lee Remick, Richard Johnson Running Time: 1 hr 45 min Rating: PG Due Out: June 6, 2011
PLOT: A former member of the NRA (Rod Steiger) loses his wife and daughter to sectarian violence. In revenge, he decides to blow up British Parliament on the opening day, when Queen Elizabeth II will be in attendance.
WHO'S IT FOR? Fans of '70s thrillers like The French Connection who won't mind this inferior take.
The film has a really exciting premise but it becomes bogged down by a dull delivery. Steiger's Niall Hennessy is a man of few words and occasionally muddled action. The initial scene where his wife and child are gunned down on accident by a British soldier left me with more compassion for the soldier than the family members. Steiger gives about as much as he can for an underwritten character, but I never got a real hold on how this guy went so nuts. He seems to sane to do something like this. I'll give the filmmakers credit for not creating a scene where he lays it all on the line and says everything he's feeling, but he never expresses any motivation. Seeing your family murdered is horrible, but most people wouldn't respond by becoming a suicide bomber the next day.
Remick plays the woman Hennessy stays with in London while he's working on his plan. She lost her husband, an NRA member, and urges Hennessy to turn away from violence. But her whole point in the movie seems to be to speak all the motivations the other characters won't express. The too silent main character only works when the rest of the film is done well.
The final scenes of Hennessy attempting to carry out his plot are put together very nicely. He filmmakers use new footage they shot and mix it with news footage of Queen Elizabeth II in Parliament. They do a really good job of meshing everything together, to the point where the film carriers a disclaimer stating the Royal Family had nothing to do with the movie. (And really, why would they?) There are good moments, but I found Hennessy to be kind of dull.
MOVIE SCORE: 5/10