Hey, folks Valkor here with another first look at a new flick coming my way, which stars "2 Fast 2 Furious" actor Paul Walker. The last flick I saw this guy in was "Running Scared". And right up until the end I was all in. But then I thought "aaaahhhhh he should have died!! It would have made for a great ending!" Well, he's back again and much of what I thought about "Running Scared" applies here too. Because right up until the end I was all in when watching "The Lazarus Project", but things got so convoluted that the films become a mess at the end.
"The Lazarus Project," tells the tale of Ben Garvey, whose life is pretty much set - he has the perfect wife, a child, and a decent job. But things go sour all of a sudden when his job up and fires him for things he's done in his past. Plus his ex-con brother is back in town and wants Ben in on a heist. So what's an out of work, family man to do? He joins his bro and from there things REALLY go sour. The heist is botched, people die, and Ben is sentenced to death. After his lethal injection, Ben awakes to find he's been given a second chance, working at a Mental Institute as the groundskeeper. Only he wants his old life back. He seeks out his wife and kid only to find out they may not have existed at all and that everything was in his head. Now Ben has to figure out the truth about his life, what's real and what's not, and try to piece it all back together again. I'm leaving out a lot of the plot here as I don't want to completely spoil it for you guys, but frankly I'd be doing everyone a favor if I did. Ah well on with the review.
The plot to "The Lazarus Project" is pretty sound; I mean I like the idea of where this guy's life is totally thrown for a loop. I mean Ben was on the lethal injection table and wakes up working at an institute. Now that's some crazy shit! Also, the mood is dark and creepy, but nothing scary happens. Acting is average at best; Paul Walker comes off well as Ben Garvey, though after the lethal injection he could have been a bit more brooding. Malcolm Goodwin does a great job as mental patient "Robbie". And I love Piper Perabo as Lisa Garvey, though her role was so small, yet I don't mind because she's just so damn cute. But the show stealer goes to Bob Gunton as one of the priests involved with the project. I just wish he had more screen time because he's so much fun to watch. (Remember in "Ace Venture: When Nature Calls", when Ace was poking at his own eye to torture Bob's character? Funny stuff!). The music also sets the mood proper, kicking in just when it needs too and slowing down at all the right places.
Though I like the story, I found it could have been better executed. I mean even after multiple viewings, I was still scratching my head going "huh?" First, Ben is dead, then he's alive, ok I'm with you. Then he's a worker, then he's crazy... you're losing me... Then he's not crazy, crazy again, and finally the truth revealed... too messy. Plus I was expecting some sort of twist ending, but there's nil. There's zero suspense, and the pacing is just too slow. So slow that I found myself zoning out mid movie, only to find out that I didn't miss much.
With a name like "The Lazarus Project", I'd expect something like a David Finch or an M. Night Shyamalan freakish ending type film. But instead, I get a so-so story with some decent acting, no suspense, and an ending that's dryer than Thanksgiving Day Turkey. Would I suggest this film to anyone? I wouldn't, but if you're in the least bit interested, then definitely rent before you decide to buy. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving "The Lazarus Project" 2 stars. And next time Paul, stick with the Fast and Furious stuff (2009 peoples, it's gonna happen).