The River Murders
Ray Liotta, Ving Rhames, Christian Slater
Directed by Rich Cowan
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2011
Here’s the premise behind The River Murders: Jack Verdon (Ray Liotta), a police detective, is investigating a series of murders, but he gets pulled off the case by his captain (Ving Rhames) when it is discovered that he has personal ties to the victims. When more victims are discovered, the FBI comes in since it is believed they are the targets of a serial killer. When Agent Vukovich (Christian Slater) discovers the ties between Jack and all the victims, he’s quick to point the finger at Jack as being a prime suspect for the case. For the rest of the movie, Jack and his partner Jenny (Sarah Ann Shultz) try to find clues to clear his name and find the real killer.
The star studded cast of The River Murders helps you get into this story, however, the script is so predictable that despite some great acting and a good atmosphere of suspense at times, the different elements of the plot reveal themselves too quickly for the viewer to feel an interest in the rest of the story.
First, we discover who the killer is in the first 15 minutes of the movie. This could have been a good thing if “good” versus “bad” types of scenes had been there to show us the psychology of those characters, but instead, when we see the bad guy… well, it always spoils what he will do next for the viewer, removing a big part of the suspense in the movie.
Finally, some of the story revolves around religion, and The River Murders seems to try to be moralistic at times, and a bit too extremist at others. This made it unclear to me as to what the authors really wanted to show us. Yet, since it is Bible related, anyone who knows a little bit about religion and the contents of the Bible will further be able to predict what will happen in this film. I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5 for entertainment value and decent acting, yet the script made this movie lose all the rest of the points.