Hanks continues his winning streak with this graphic novel adaptation of a gangster on the run with his young son in tow after the rest of his family is brutally murdered by an envious rival (Daniel Craig). What begins as something of a revenge flick soon turns into a morality play as father and son trek across States, through a beautifully realised landscape, robbing the odd bank whilst being chased by Jude Law’s hitman and finding time to forge that missing component in their relationship.
Sam “American Beauty” Mendes works the most magic he can on a graphic novel that takes a few liberties with history. His greatest debt here is to cinematographer Conrad L Hall who truly defines the look of the film – and watching it on Blu-Ray makes it all the more evident.
The film though does give us some wonderful performances from Hanks and Paul Newman as the old gang boss who has to chose between his natural (yet troubled) son and the man who rightfully should have been his son. Jude Law proves he works best when he is working in a supporting capacity. This film along with The Talented Mr Ripley and even Sherlock Holmes, to an extent, are fine examples of that fact.
The disc brings over much the same extras from the DVD edition with a commentary by Mendes and a making of featurette. New additions include a half hour look back at Hall’s career as a cinematographer which includes contributions not only from the makers of this film but his son and other well known cinematographers. It’s a fascinating look at the man’s choices of film and how he set about creating storytelling scenes.
It may not be the perfect film, but it makes for a very engaging watch – and is proof that not all graphic novel sources have to be that of the superhero.