Movie Magazine International

Panic (2000)

USA - 2000

Movie Review By Monica Sullivan

I’m trying to imagine movie exhibitors sitting through industry screenings of "Panic". Maybe they were like the test screenings of the adult Jane Hudson in "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?": ‘Oh boy, Oh boy, Oh boy...’ It’s easy to imagine why William H. Macy, Tracy Ullman, Donald Sutherland, Barbara Bain, John Ritter & Neve Campbell all wanted to work together: If that ain’t a dream cast, what is? The dream caves in with director Henry Brommell ‘s script. Any so-called drama that starts with a hitman (Macy) seeing a shrink (Ritter) has its own telegraph system built right into it. That shrink’s got to be the hit, you think, &, sure enough, he is. And because "Panic" is also about a so-called crisis of conscience, variations on a theme abound, none very good or well thought out, but they’re there, like bugs at a picnic. Sutherland plays Macy’s father, who trains him from boyhood to be a hitman.

Macy is a different sort of father to his own bright little boy, outwardly sweet & supportive, but a gutless wimp inside. His father’s plans to drag a third generation into the family business are far from subtle, but Macy’s character drags his heels, is disingenuous with wife Tracy Ullman & flirts with Neve Campbell. Ullman, Campbell & Bain all play skimpy, thankless roles, & after the filming, none of the cast members thought that "Panic" would ever be released. If you want to see them work anyway, & who doesn’t?, you may want to give "Panic" a chance. Just don’t expect too much.

© 2000 - Monica Sullivan - Air Date: 11/29/00

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