I Am Wrath full movie review - Travolta grieves about Murder and Corruption
This is Travolta's new film! I went with my sister and her friend as they were planning to interview one of the members of the cast for their morning television show.
The fellow's name was Robert Forte Shannon III and he proved afterwards to be a very genial fellow who deserves every success. He has a short albeit very heated scene in the movie and made me recall Luis Guzman with his energy and passion and street swagger.
Every actor has his thing; what Anthony Quinn calls his 'psychological point'. Now with Marlon Brando it was his brooding intensity, misplaced in 'MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY' whereas it would have been better served in a filmed production of 'HAMLET'. Perhaps no one has played the worldly man lost in the excess of his own passion and spirituality better than Anthony Quinn. He has 'ZORBA THE Greek' and 'THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN' to testify to that. George C. Scott could get so mad it would make the television throb and turn so red in the face you would think he was having a heart attack. There is 'PATTON' and a lesser movie entitled 'RAGE' which will show you what I mean, as well as his turn with Jack Lemmon in the remake of '12 ANGRY MEN'.
I mention George C. Scott last because 'I AM WRATH' is exactly the type of movie that would have been perfect for his explosive angst. Naturally we all mourn that he turned in his identification card awhile back and has gone on to better things.
John Travolta is a genuinely nice guy and I have followed his career ever since the 1970's. I remember him fondly in 'SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER', 'GREASE', and 'URBAN COWBOY'. Later for his work in 'GET SHORTY', 'A CIVIL ACTION', and the laughably exuberant 'FACE/OFF'. My parents found the 'LOOK WHO'S TALKING' movies absorbing and amusing, but then, they could relate having kids of their own. Never cared much for 'PULP FICTION' or 'BATTLEFIELD EARTH', the former to my mind not being as good as all the adulation heaped upon it, and the latter not being as bad as all the vituperation it has generated.
This brings us to what John Travolta has done in 'I AM WRATH'. The grieving he does in the film suggests the range of Brando, but I have never particularly associated Travolta with wrath. He simply oozes compassion and oftentimes even when playing villains comes across as too extroverted as he did in 'BROKEN ARROW', and too cheerful as he was in 'GET SHORTY' to do anybody any real harm.
I just wish he would play Chuck Yeager and be done with it or go on from there. He is an expert pilot and his love of flying and planes more than qualifies him for a starring role about the man with The Right Stuff.
The acting of the entire cast is high quality and this almost keeps 'I AM WRATH' afloat. But the script comes across as a first draft insufficiently developed and the exposition starts to my mind at the wrong place in the narrative. The emphasis on violence and piling up the body count is standard and generic, but this is to be expected when plot development is lacking. The predictability of the revenge ethic or aesthetic while it would be fitting for Steven Seagal or even the late great Charles Bronson seems somehow beneath the intelligence of Travolta here. You get the feeling that he would have gotten the goods on the Governor and broadcast it all over the Internet with the help of his wife while still enjoying easygoing banter with Christopher Meloni and dodging bad guys with crafty Bruce Lee Kung Fu.
I also wish Rebecca De Mornay had gotten more screen time.
At any rate, I will continue to follow the career of John Travolta and wish him the type of roles that demonstrate why everybody loves him and that give him an opportunity to express the humanitarian everyone senses so strongly in his personality.
Avenging murder and injustice in a society stewing in corruption is fast becoming the junk food of American culture. These are themes that need to be approached in new and novel ways and a little bit of elegance here and there would not be out of place.