Hawaii411 reviews Road to Perdition, Tom Hanks' attempt at a Gangsta Rap.

Tom "Chubbs" Hanks.... Great actor.  I don't think I'll ever tire of watching him (unless he releases another Joe Versus the Volcano.)  We first caught Tom cross dressing on the Boob Tube ala Bosom Buddies and later saw him involved in bestiality flick called Splash.  Even with those limited scripts you just knew he was going to be a huge star.  He can do comedy.  He can do drama.  And now he's playing a gangster in Road to Perdition, co-starring Paul Newman and Jude Law.

This two hour long flick set in the 1930's transports us back in time when the word gangster meant you were somewhat more intimidating than a rap-star wanna-be (see gangsta... also see Vanilla Ice).  Beautiful costumes, atmosphere and settings convince us that 1) we are back in 1931 and 2) we are watching one high budget flick.

Enter Michael Sullivan (Hanks)... He's a hard worker who puts the bread on the table doing what he does best - which is unfortunately strong arming and killing people as the right hand man of the local crime boss, John Rooney (Paul Newman).

Whoops! Here's the kicker.. Seems that Sullivan's oldest son Michael Jr. sneaks a ride in Daddy's car one night and witnesses a half dozen men get slaughtered because the son of the crime boss, Connor Rooney, is a screw up moron.  Uh oh... instant problem.

Connor attempts to eliminate the young witness to his crime, however only manages to kill Sullivan's wife and other son (told you he was a screw up).  Michael Sullivan and Junior then spend the rest of the movie on a road trip for revenge.

When I first heard this movie's title, I (along with half the civilized movie going world) immediately said to myself, "What the heck does Perdition mean?"  Don't be embarrassed... admit it.  Anyhow, for all of us non-church going folk, Perdition is defined as "Loss of the soul; eternal damnation."  Perdition is also the town that Hanks is attempting to reach, so the title has a (ooohhhh) double meaning.  Hanks wants to insure that his son doesn't follow his dangerous lifestyle.  As Paul Newman's Crime Boss character is very fond of saying "All of us are going to hell anyway."  The only thing Hanks' character really has left after his wife and child die is juniors pristine, unscarred soul - and he'll do anything to preserve it.

Perdition moves along smoothly and is gorgeous to look at.  The acting is superb.  Even the actor who plays the young Michael Sullivan (Tyler Hoechlin) pulls his weight.  They chose him because of his soulful 'adult' looking eyes.  At times he looks like a baby Ray Liotta (without the eyeliner), and at other times he looks exactly like K.D. Lang's Mini-Me (Exactly like her in every way, except one-eighth her size... Oh yah, and they both like girls).

Paul Newman has still got it.  How old is this bugger anyway, because ol' blue eyes is still as sharp as the edge of my infomercial ginsu knife.  Too bad he couldn't work in a plug for his dressing during a restaurant salad scene or something.  Hey, gotta take the perks when you can get em!  He takes the crime boss role and makes it Newman's Own (sorry, couldn't resist the bad pun).  He's also the only actor in the film that was actually around for the 1930's (wonder if they used him as a consultant?).

Jude Law plays a deviant photographer/hitman who has a nasty hobby of photographing dead bodies and a bad sugar habit that makes his teeth look like he signed up for a Japanese dental care plan.  His looks are also receding, along with his hairline.  Hey Jude, don't wear your hair so short.  He's got that Charlie Brown/Andre Agassi look in this one.
The film is obviously big budget and stylish, and the camera and sound work is A+.  Road to Perdition is based on a graphic novel and looks just as flashy.  Great Movie, great acting...  An exciting and fun two hours worth of film.

Hawaii411 Rating Box - The Road to Perdition
2 Hanks, 1 Newman and 1 Jude Law.. That's a 4 out of a possible 5. If you're wondering why we put Tom twice, it's because we gave him one for each of his chins.  He's got more Chins than a Chinese Phonebook.

The Bottom Line
Seeing as this film is all about the mob and gangster life, we'd better give this one a good review. We give it two fat Tom's, one Old Newman, and One Bolo head Jude.  That's a total of four out of a possible five.

- visit the official homepage here
- view the Trailer