Film Review: Hangman

Director Johnny Martin’s Hangman is a crime thriller in which the end result does not live up to the initial promise. 

Police detective Will seeks out the help of homicide veteran detective Ray in helping to solve a grisly new crime. The duo are joined by journalist Christi as they attempt to find a serial killer before he claims his next victim…

Hangman feels a bit like a feature-length CSI style show, albeit with a Hollywood cast. The premise is fine, focussing on a serial killer who leaves clues to their next crime. There is also the backstory of what is plaguing detective Will, and the presence of a reporter. Yet these elements do not tie together as well as they could have.

Some of the guessing of clues seems spurious, and leaves Hangman open to plot holes. The death each day device is used to generate tension, but in the second half of the film, it feels sloppy in leading the detectives to the next crime. In the final third of the film, the detectives work out how the crimes tie together, and who the culprit is. Director Martin misses a trick by making the murderer very vocal; this strips away any terror surrounding the culprit of some gruesome crime. 

As the trio become further involved in the case, it seems a bit silly that they are always first on the scene, when logic would suggest sending a patrol car would be a swifter option.  Nevertheless, for the first half of the  film at least, the mystery is engaging. The combination of a detective, a very experienced retired detective and a journalist provided something different, even if it is a bit far fetched. 

Al Pacino deserves better than the script offers him. Performances by Karl Urban and Brittany Snow are perfectly fine. Production values are more akin to a television series than a feature film. 

Hangman aims for a similar vibe to Seven, but falls short. There is some promise, but ultimately it is a flawed mystery. 

Hangman will be available to watch on Digital Download from 4th June 2018.

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