Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lakeview Terrace - DVD Review

LAKEVIEW TERRACE (**1/2) - Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Kerry Washington, Ron Glass, Jay Hernandez, Justin Chambers, Regine Nehy, Jaishon Fisher and Robert Pine.
Written by David Loughery & Howard Korder.
Directed by Neil LaBute.

This was a three-star movie until the last ten minutes. Then it becomes less and less Changing Lanes and more and more Unlawful Entry. Despite this, there's still an effective slow-burn performance from Samuel L. Jackson who's just a little bit off, and a slightly unstable Sam Jackson is scarier than a maniacal one.

Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington are the new neighbors in town, and Jackson's a strict widower who's old school when it comes to attitudes on interracial marriage. He's also a cop, and he's not stereotypical the way many Hollywood movies tend to be with bad cops. It's believable he's popular among his peers. He seems good at his job with one or two issues. He's a guy who just doesn't want this new couple living next to him, and the more he subtlely tries to get them to leave, the more angry he becomes when they don't.

It's not so much about race after a while as it is about machismo, two men who don't want to look weak by conceding. Then it all falls apart in a simplistic, over-the-top ending that has been done in so many other movies. That's what makes Changing Lanes so enduring, when it just came down to the two men confronting each other and diffusing things before they went beyond the point of no return. This ending, filmwise, is too easy.

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