The true story of the LaMarcas, well told by the late Mike McAlary in Esquire, has been pounded into TV-crime mush by screenwriter Ken Hixon and director Michael Caton-Jones. Shockingly, the acting doesn't help.
Despite melodramatic lapses -- the gripping action recalls Walter Hill's 1981 "Southern Comfort" -- this is Schumacher's most ambitions film since
"Falling Down" in 1993, and it plays to his strengths with young actors.
The self-congratulatory histrionics of Williams, lower lip trembling as he triumphs over torture in the name of the human spirit, represents a trend in Hollywood to make accessible melodrama out of unspeakable tragedy.