Control Release Date: 31 March 2005 (Portugal) Genre: Crime | Sci-Fi | Thriller Director: Jonathan Baker & Tim Hunter (River’s Edge) Writers: Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer (both of Dark Reflection) Starring: Ray Liotta, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Rodriguez Had Millennium Films and DEJ Production’s Control starred Matt Dillon as originally slated, I’d likely be panning […]

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Control
Release Date: 31 March 2005 (Portugal)
Genre: Crime | Sci-Fi | Thriller
Director: Jonathan Baker & Tim Hunter (River’s Edge)
Writers: Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer (both of Dark Reflection)
Starring: Ray Liotta, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Rodriguez

Had Millennium Films and DEJ Production’s Control starred Matt Dillon as originally slated, I’d likely be panning it right now.

But it is thanks to the excellent performances put forth by leads Ray Liotta and Willem Dafoe that Control manages to actually overcome various plot inconsistencies and the like to earn a recommendation.

Ray Liotta plays Lee Ray, an unremorseful murderer just minutes away from being on the receiving end of a lethal injection. Everything seems to spell the end for him as the serums are injected, and his dead body is carted away. It turns out, however, that he and nineteen other death row inmates, who we never see, have been chosen to be test subjects for a new experimental drug called Anagress. The drug is touted as having the ability to make a killer repent his misdoings and eventually give him or her the power to live their life without problems. Ray has no choice but to take the pills and take part in the trials, as right next to his arm is the real injection that will actually take his life this time.

In order to help guide Lee Ray through his new feelings, Dr. Copeland (Dafoe) is brought into the picture. It is through his sessions with Copeland, coupled with the Anagress, that Lee Ray becomes a sensitive and vulnerable human being. Soon enough, Ray is even being trusted to live on his own and start a new life, though with constant supervision of course. But there are people out to get Ray for who he used to be, not to mention the secret of Anagress that not even Copeland knows.

In most cases, I’m the kind of person who just wants a DTV effort to be a relatively quick, ninety-minute ride. But I actually wanted more with Control. It’s not because it was fantastic or anything. Control just has a few undeveloped plot points that, if expounded upon further, would’ve made it so much better. For one, there’s the corrupt judge who ousts Lee Ray’s location to a gangster who wants him dead. The judge never really gets dealt his comeuppance, and the man chasing Lee Ray is so one-dimensional that you forget he’s even there at points.
Despite my criticisms, Control is a suitable piece of entertainment. It’s pros far outweight its cons. Dafoe and Liotta are excellent, and the general plot isn’t too shabby either, with a nice twist that you may not see coming to boot.

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Control, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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