Road to Perdition (2002)

Road to Perdition (2002)

2002 R 117 Minutes

Thriller | Crime | Drama

Mike Sullivan works as a hit man for crime boss John Rooney. Sullivan views Rooney as a father figure, however after his son is witness to a killing, Mike Sullivan finds himself on the run in attem...

Overall Rating

8 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • Road to Perdition is a classy, powerfully performed and compelling gangster crime thriller. How do you make a depression era American gangster mob crime drama thriller (and breathe...) look visually arresting? You bring in Sam Mendes. No one else can bring haunting tones and visceral imagery quite like Mendes. An adaptation of a graphic novel, Michael Sullivan is a hitman for a powerful Irish mob family when an incident occurs that tests the limits of loyalty between them. This is stuffed to the brim with themes. Loyalty, fatherhood, family, revenge, ambition...Mendes really outdid himself here. The considerable amount of attention between Sullivan Sr and Sullivan Jr, establishing the powerful bond of a son looking up to their father. For inspiration. For guidance. For life. Every little intricacy illuminates the screen. From Sullivan Jr constantly querying Sullivan Sr's job, to him just consistently staring and imitating his body movement. Incredibly powerful and resonating. The balance of action and drama was a perfect equilibrium. Both utterly stylish. Tom Hanks yet again carries out another understated performance. However, what really astonished me was how he held his own against Paul Newman, who owned every single scene. To be working alongside such a legendary and prolific actor in what was one of his last roles, it must've intimidated Hanks...even by the tiniest of margins. The narrative is well structured and slowly transforms into a cat-and-mouse hunt. The dialogue was sharp, witty and quite a few subtle comedic moments that brings a smile. The biggest issue, is Sam Mendes. There is no doubt he is an outstanding director, it shows here. The problem is, that he has a tendency to over-direct. To clarify, his style far exceeds the substance of the plot and starts to detract from the film. Every single frame is over stylised. It works for certain scenes like the street shootout in the rain, but it starts to become tiresome when it's just characters interacting. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather a film be over-directed than not at all.