Road to Perdition (2002)
[GP] Starring:Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Tyler Hoechlin, Jude Law, Stanley Tucci, Daniel Craig
Directed by:Sam Mendes
Screenplay by:David Self
Based on the Graphic Novel by:Max Allan Collins, Richard Piers Rayner

Tom Hanks plays a 1930s family man with a regular job, loving wife, and two children. He represents himself as an equipment salesman and is rather unexceptional except for the .45 automatic he carries and the Thompson submachine gun he keeps in the garage with an extra fifty-round magazine of "sales literature" for those special occasions demanding rapid-fire "closings".

His son wants to know what daddy does at work and hides in the car when Hanks goes out for a business meeting. Unfortunately, the participants fail to reach an agreement and the meeting is abruptly concluded with Hanks passing out hot lead samples from his Thompson.

After the son is discovered by Hanks's business associate, Hanks spends the rest of the movie trying to keep his fellow "salesmen" from closing a deal on his son. It seems they want to give him a special buy on the great timeshare in the sky.

In one scene a bullet strikes a glass container and showers the person behind it with flying shards. While it may seem unlikely for a piece of glass to deflect a bullet, it's actually realistic. Because bullets rotate at very high rates, even light contact from an object as flimsy as a twig can send a bullet careening off its normal trajectory.

The movie achieves brutal reality with very little overstatement. It avoids fake firearm clichés like flashing bullets. Projectiles actually blow holes through walls and pose mortal danger to those on the other side. When the temptation to send a gunshot victim flying through the nearest window arises, the moviemakers steadfastly resist. There are scenes where bullets go completely through one object and magically fail to even chip a window on the other side. Yes, the Road to Perdition is littered with some bad movie physics, but at least it's not paved with them.

Copyright © 2002 Intuitor, all rights reserved