"You Must Know, There is No Murder in Paradise."
Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? It did to me. It saddens me that “Child 44”, even helped along by its strong performances and dynamic musical score, never rose to the level of storytelling greatness I would expect from a tale such as this.
“Child 44” is based off a novel by the same name, which accounts for many of the issues I have with it. The pacing, for a thriller, is near glacial. Much of this can be attributed to the MGB members of the cast being just too darn good at their job. Any time Leo makes any headway on his search, he’s found out by his pals and delayed almost to the point of starting over. The exposition is also clunky, as is most of the screenplay—much of the dialogue is used to explain exactly what’s happening, leaving little time for character development or thematic insight (when it IS present in the script though, oh man, it’s really good). Apparently Ridley Scott was supposed to direct this thing when the project began, and his touch may have helped nudge the film towards passably good. Daniel Espinosa’s style feels very inconsistent, like there were certain parts of the story that really grabbed him and those parts were all he felt like working hard on. This is an adaptation that made me want to read the book—the parts that make it tiresome to watch as a film seem like they could benefit a novel.
In this terrible, terrible week for theatrical releases, “Child 44” was still probably my best option, but only by a hair. It’s not entirely without merit, and if the subject matter sounds interesting to you I would recommend you give it a rental someday, but watching it feels like watching a hyperactive terrier wading through molasses. That dog should TOTALLY be able to get to where he’s going, but at this rate he probably never will.
Vodka. Probably straight vodka? It's gross, but whatever.
-Drink when someone dies
-Drink when someone is shown a photograph
-Drink when someone cries
-Drink for each scene that takes place on a train or at a train station
-Drink when a group of officers take someone away
This review was written by Hollis Beck (Krissy Pappau). "Child 44" is produced and distributed by Summit Entertainment. This film is rated "R" with a runtime of 137 minutes.