88 Minutes

This isn't so much a "Whodunit" as it is a "Who's Gonna DO it," and a "Won't it ever be over?"

Al Pacino ("Two for the Money" and "Ocean's Thirteen") is an extremely successful college professor of forensic psychology associated with the University of Northern (!) Washington in Seattle, the Seattle PD and the FBI. Pacino's character is a hard-drinking womanizer who was drawn to this profession by an event in his own past that still haunts him. In the meantime, his expert testimony convicted a serial killer on circumstantial evidence; nine years later the felon's appeals are exhausted and he is slated to die.

Once again I must comment on how sick movies and television writers must be, to come up with so many creative ways to horrify, terrorize and/or disgust their audience. This movie is no different. After some establishing scenes, Pacino is told via a call to his cell phone that he has 88 minutes to live. (By the way, from the moment Pacino's character is advised of the time involved, the movie has exactly 88 more minutes to run...including credits.) As the movie progresses, he encounters message after message, left in clever ways, apprising him of a count- down that will end in his death.

Pacino has been called by the Seattle police to look at a crime scene which echoes the modus operandi of the "Seattle Slayer," the man who is scheduled to die within the next day or so. Despite this confusing new turn of events, Pacino insists that the convicted man was guilty and the execution should go on as planned.

This is such a trite premise and so overworked, I found myself instead, captivated by the scrambled geography of "Seattle." Pioneer Square becomes -- in a blink -- the campus of UNW (see above). The time necessary to get from Point A to Point B clearly ignores Seattle's traffic congestion and street layout. He crosses the Montlake Bridge but I suspect the "campus" is in Vancouver, BC or elsewhere....

This will not make anybody's Top Ten...