About 15 minutes into the sordid, incomprehensible, astonishingly inept psycho-killer mystery gimmick that is “88 Minutes,” I began to wonder: could this be the worst movie of Al Pacino’s career? He was in “Gigli” and don’t forget “Revolution,” but this is real contender. A movie so bad even Pacino’s perma-tan and hair deserve Razzies. Pacino plays Dr. Jack Gramm, a world-famous, fabulously wealthy forensic scientist. His testimony convicted the Seattle Slayer, but now a copycat seems to be on the loose.
As Gramm deals with the murder, a bomb threat on campus, the affections of about a half-dozen women and let’s not forget that hairdo, a new problem surfaces. And it’s not even time for a coffee break. But even with all the madness that morning, one of Dr. Gramm’s students wants to debate the old Seattle Strangler trial with him. Yipes.
You might think “88” minutes unspools in something resembling real time, with Gramm desperately trying to find the taunting killer. But it’s 106 minutes and it feels longer than that, and there are all kinds of problems with the conventional timeline of the movie. Not to mention the heavy-handed direction from Jon Avnet, the ridiculous script from Gary Scott Thompson, and universally bad performances from a talented cast that includes Leelee Sobieski, Alicia Witt and Deborah Kara Unger. “88” Minutes creates an insanely implausible tease, and then provides a so-called resolution that’s beyond anything that could happen in any movie universe. It’s quite possibly the worst movie of 2008 so far.