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Death Sentence

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Don't ever mess with Kevin Bacon. If no other lesson is learned from watching his latest film, that's the one you should take to heart.

Nick Hume (Bacon) is a well-to-do investment banker with the perfect family life: a loving wife (Kelly Preston), two bickering boys (Stuart Lafferty and Jordan Garrett) and a big, comfortable house. His life is shattered when he witnesses the murder of his own son as part of a gang initiation. Realizing the killer will only be put away for a short time, something inside him snaps, and he decides to take justice into his own hands and starts something of a war on the killer and his gang.

Director James Wan, whose most notable credit is writing and directing the first Saw film, uses his horror experience to set up some dark and disturbing shots in Death Sentence. While within the first 15 minutes, he establishes what seemingly could develop into a very touching drama, he shortly thereafter commits to action and, later, a little bit of gore in the form of limbs being shot off.

Some behavior from portrayed law enforcement is downright ridiculous, but a fast pace, paired with Bacon's crazy kill face and rough shaved head, make for a pretty hardcore action flick with a surprisingly emotion-driving soundtrack.

Toward the end, you'll recognize some Saw elements such as flickering fluorescent lights and dim sets, but Wan's direction has taken a full step forward here.

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