Alan Parker's "The Life of David Gale" is a disaster zone, falling ALL over the map of narrative, character development and goofy political agendas.There's not a single convincing moment in the film to be found, and it feels at least an hour longer than its actual length. What's even more odd is this trash was released almost exactly a year after the medicare-brewhaha known as "John Q" (2002) which also drove me nuts by preaching to the viewer about the poor not getting treatment, all the while moronic characters spout out goofy dialogue to a laughable finale.
David Gale (Kevin Spacey) is sentenced to death row for a murder, and Bitsey Bloom (Kate Winslet) is a reporter assigned to find out the truth about the case before his execution. The film is abound with questionable antics by the main characters. Why, for example, does the movie open on a shot of Bitsey (I chuckle at her name rather easily) running away from a car that's obviously overheated, all to make a pseudo-foreshadow to the fact 20 minutes later in?
There's also a scene where Bitsey tries to reenact the murder scene that bordered on insanity. I caught myself tilting my head like a dog, completely speechless to think of how Parker had to say something like "Okay, Kate, you're going to reenact the murdered woman, by telling your partner you're going to put a plastic bag over your head, say you're going to count to three minutes, then squirm and cavort all over the floor. Okay? Action!" What's unbelievable to me is how after she removes the plastic bag from her head after her "experiment", she tells why she did it. Hey Bitsey, how about just figuring it out instead of nearly committing the dumbest suicide in film history?
Stylistically, the film is a nightmare. The twangy music score repeats constantly throughout the film, the wild-angle editing to jump time frames, the needlessly frequent references to the David Gale family photo, getting Leon Rippy to flash his crooked yellow teeth every chance it gets, and the film's final reveal, which plays like a B-minus horror film where the sting will just piss you off.If I ever watch this film again, I'll bring a bottle of bourbon and a bottle of vodka, to make a drinking game for every time Bitsey makes a head-turn/tilt or for every time David Gale makes a goopy sad face. Other than that, the film's pretty good.