Friday, August 04, 2006


FreedomlandSamuel L. Jackson Directed by Joe Roth
Reviewed by Byron Merritt



I’ve got a headache...

How ...when ...who is responsible for this ridiculous movie!

The fact that this film actually got made should leave little doubt in the viewers’ minds that someone, somewhere in Hollywood has their head so far up their ass they wouldn’t know a good script if it landed on their shit-smeared face.

That respectable actors Julianne Moore (THE HOURS) and Samuel L. Jackson (THE INCREDIBLES) signed up for this trite contraption should also leave viewers scratching their heads (although Jackson recently did SNAKES ON A PLANE, which further puts his stardom in question)!

The movie’s premise: Brenda Martin (Moore) enters an emergency room in northern New Jersey claiming she’s been carjacked. It just so happens, too, that the guy who carjacked her was black and this theft occurred in the Armstrong District, a predominantly black area. Lorenzo Council (Jackson) goes to the ER to get a statement and Ms. Martin drops a bombshell: her four-year-old son, Cody, was in the backseat when it was stolen. To add further fuel to this fizzling fire is the fact that Ms. Martin’s brother, Danny (Ron Eldard, BLACK HAWK DOWN) is a cop on the local police force.

The Armstrong District is sealed off, igniting racial tensions between the black community and the mostly white police presence. "Why haven’t we seen this kind of response whenever a black kid goes missing?" is the commonly heard racial cliche.

As the story progresses we learn that Brenda Martin isn’t all she seems to be (shock!) Could she be responsible for her own son’s death?

This is old material covered many times. And this time it’s done so poorly it’s laughable. Samuel L. Jackson’s cop character is initially introduced as a sickly detective with poor asthma control. We see him get adrenaline shots and use his inhalers ...and then he’s fine for the rest of the film. Why even introduce this rubbish if you’re not going to use it later on?

Julianne Moore stumbles through scenes like a crack-ho looking for her pipe. She’s a lovable mommy one minute and a raving psycho the next.

The rest of the story has so many holes as to be compared with swiss cheese. Freedomland itself is an old children’s detention center fallen into ruin where a search for Cody takes place. But it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the main story (which is about racial tensions and false accusations). A woman who is involved in finding missing children suddenly pops up and assists Jackson but she’s more of a psychoanalyst than a finder of lost kids. Why?! Couldn’t Samuel L.
Jackson have gotten that information out of her?!

This stupid, ludicrous, and mind-numbing film should be avoided like the blight it is.

I need some Tylenol!

Click here for the Freedomland movie trailer!


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