Evan's Eyes


Imagine attending a pleasant dinner party where you're enjoying the food and conversation until dessert is served, and you take a BIG SPOONFUL of the chocolate pudding because you really like pudding, and suddenly, horribly, you realize that it has been made with cod liver oil instead of milk. If you're lucky, you don't spew it all over the table as you leap up, rush home and try to gargle the taste out of your mouth. Later, your memory of the dinner would be eclipsed by the horrible flavor of chocolate-cod-liver-oil pudding, even if the rest of the food was delicious. This was my experience (slightly exaggerated, I admit, but I'm making a point here) of "The Pledge." I will try to avoid telling you WHAT happens, just in case you have any lingering desire to see this movie after reading this review, but the information I would have wanted to know about this film before I watched it is that IT ENDS TRAGICALLY. It's not the lack of a happy ending that I object to, I've seen some fine films that do not have a "happy ending." No, this film serves up its nasty pudding surprise by pulling the story out from under the viewer's feet with a reverse deus ex machina (Latin for "cheap cop out"). Instead of solving the conflict with an improbable contrivance, the protagonist FAILS due to an improbable contrivance. The disappointment this engenders counters all the positive impact the visually appealing (if languid) story development that happens up to that point. If you're the sort of person who can sincerely say to your dinner host "Wow! Your chocolate fish-oil pudding was innovative and surprising, and I'm grateful that you did that to me!", then you might enjoy this movie more than I did. Of course, now you know what I did not, and you can make an informed decision on whether you want this particular experience.

If you liked the movies below, you'll probably like this one (and visa versa):

  • Copland
  • Crossing Guard
  • Tightrope
Overall Rating: 4 (where 1=Worthless, 10=Fabulous)

Eight-Facet Info Rating, rated on a scale of 0 (None) to 4 (Lots!)):

Humor: 0
Nudity: 0
Sexual Reference: 1
Sexual Activity: 1
Action: 1
Gore: 2
Violence: 1
Profanity: 1


© 2003 Evan M. Nichols