Domestic Disturbance

John Travolta, Vince Vaughn, Teri Polo.
Directed by Harold Becker.
Running Time: 89 mins
Rated: M

Frank Morrison is a boat builder. He is divorced from Susan (Polo) and they have a son, Danny (very well played by Matt O'Leary). Susan has custody of Danny and they live with Rick (Vaughn) a wealthy, man about town who is soon to be her husband. Rick arrived in Southport two years before and no one suspects his shady past. Danny loves his Mum and Dad, is not happy about Rick and wants his parents back together. He lodges his protests by
breaking the law. Danny accuses Rick of murder and in the end the only one who believes him is Frank.

After the disaster of Battleship Earth, John Travolta needs a hit. Domestic Disturbance is not going to do it for him. He gives a pleasing, but not arresting performance. Even though this film is stylishly produced, has some good attention to detail and does not overstay its welcome, it fails three tests for a good thriller. The need for the audience to suspend disbelief is too much. The local forensic science department is the most incompetent you will ever see. The action scenes, especially the final show down, are so staged that you can hear the director calling out, "Que Mr Travolta". And, though the confrontations between Danny and Rick are scary enough, the film as a whole lacks the necessary tension and passion for a good suspense drama.

The title Domestic Disturbance has to be the least descriptive we have had of a film in years. Having a potential murderer as your son's stepfather is more than a little disturbing.

Richard Leonard SJ

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