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Road to Perdition

Year: 2002
Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Stanley Tucci
It could never be called all style and no substance, but Mendes' first big project after American Beauty doesn't live up to its predecessor (not that it appeared to be trying).

The morals and values in the story are a little simple, and the fact that the story is told through the eyes of the protagonists' son is no excuse. Everything comes off a bit too hokey when you expect a bit more sophistication.

Tom Hanks plays Michael Sullivan, a distant enigma to his namesake son and a very understated hit man to his father-in-all-but-blood - mob boss Rooney (Newman.

The pivotal plot device - how sons are or aren't doomed to follow in their father's footsteps, sets up the drama as Rooney's loose cannon real son Connor murders half Sullivan's family as reprisal for his son witnessing a hit.

It's then time to question loyalties as Sullivan and son pack up and start running, wiping out half the depression-era Chicago mob that crossed them.

Michael Jnr asking himself if he loves his father and if his father is a good man keeps it from being Death Wish meets Bugsy Malone, but the drama in the story is fairly shallow.

Jude law stands out as the chilling psycho hired to track Sullivan's family down, but neither Hanks nor Newman seem to be trying too hard, just having a good time.

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