Title – Parkland (2013)
Director – Peter Landesman
Cast – Paul Giamatti, Zac Efron, James Badge Dale, Billy Bob Thornton, Ron Livingston, Tom Welling, Marcia Gay Harden, Colin Hanks, Jacki Weaver
Plot – Based on Vincent Bugliosi’s book Parkland looks at the day and preceding days of JFK’s fateful trip to Dallas Texas in 1963. The movie looks at participants including Doctor Charles Carrico (Efron), brother to the suspect Robert Oswald (Badge Dale), hardworking businessman Abraham Zapruder (Giamatti) and a raft of others whose lives were changed with one bullet.
“The president is coming with us”
Review by Eddie on 27/11/2013
It’s not hard to see why this star studded vehicle set around the JFK assassination came and disappeared from theatre’s faster than you could say “waste of talent” for Parkland is a disjointed mess of a movie that at every turn fails to encapsulate what really should be a captivating and insightful look into a dark day and subsequent period of American history.
To pinpoint a major failing in Parkland one must look squarely at the direction of former controversial journalist Peter Landesman who films the movie in the Paul Greengrass school of direction technique with fast swift cuts, quick zooms and shaky cam galore but what works so well for someone like a Greengrass here merely comes off as obtrusive to the story and amateurish giving Parkland an almost student made feel. This low level production feel acts as a way to completely waste the talent on camera also.
Not once in the films short 90 minute time does a character get a chance to really make an impression with only James Badge Dale as Robert Oswald and Paul Giamatti as Abraham Zapruder seemingly getting more than 10 minutes screen time. Actors such as Zac Efron, Tom Welling, Billy Bob Thornton, Marcia Gay Harden, Ron Livingston and most short changed of all Jackie Earl Haley barely seem to breathe before their characters are seemingly gone in a puff of smoke. With no centralised figure to hold things together any emotional pull that Parkland should have had with such a tale is completely non-existent and the films big set pieces fall flat because of the same reason.
Somewhere deep down at the core of Parkland is a good movie waiting to be exposed. There are small scenes throughout the movie that seemingly show off what could have been such as Robert’s confrontation with his brother in custody or the hospital scene featuring frantic efforts to keep JFK alive. As a whole however Parkland is a huge missed opportunity and a mishandling of a story that deserves to be told in a much more professional manor.
2 wasted actors out of 5