The Pledge (2001)

Jackie really does go crazy.

Homicide detective Jerry Black (Jack Nicholson) is on the eve of retirement when he gets a call that changes everything. A young girl has been murdered, and Black takes the case, promising the distraught parents he’ll see it through to the end.

This is a very different movie from any of other Nicholson’s. He’s more serious and more quiet in another film feature from Sean Penn, yes the actor too. The Pledge isn’t as much a thriller as it is a journey inside the mind of this aging retired cop’s head.

I give credit much too Penn’s direction as he doesn’t focus so much on the case at hand but how throughout the film, the case starts to eat up Nicholson one after another until he finally goes crazy. We see how this character starts off as easy going then as soon as things start to pick up he starts to change into something else unexpected. Penn gives us time to think these characters over with a medium speed pace.

As much as I enjoyed the direction I can’t recommend it to highly. First of all the way it begins is surely a dumb idea, by showing us how it ends before we do. Also much of the scripts it wasn’t as much as it was cliched but a series of coincidences. I started to get needy and I needed more then just happenings and more of the actual story at hand being developed.

The score became a really big distraction for me. It varied around very typical thriller score music then started turning into an odd mixture of reggae and typical old folk Irish music and I was very confused of why this music was put in the one position that it was.

Though the acting from the cast is very equal in its own sense. Jack Nicholson surely gives one of his most quitest but very creepy performances yet. Although this is not one of his greatest performances it is one of his most different and you become unraveled in this new character. Also Robin Wright Penn does a very credible job too.

Consensus: Though it’s very hard too recommend, I give it props for its very chilling performances and inspired direction from Sean Penn.


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