Starring William H. Macy, Neve Campbell, John Ritter, Donald Sutherland, Tracey Ullman, Barbara Bain, David Dorfman, Tina Lifford, Bix Barnaba and Nicholle Tom.
Screenplay by Henry Brommell.
Directed by Henry Brommell.
Distributed by Artisan Entertainment. 93 minutes. Rated R.
Flick lovers – if you’re looking for a video rental to stimulate, excite and leave you wanting to discuss it with friends, Panic is for you. This unsettling, quiet (at least on the surface) film stars William H. Macy, Donald Sutherland and Tracy Ullman in strong, understated performances. This is the story of a man in major conflict with his work, which dominates much of his thinking. He is an assassin for hire working in a family business of contract killing. Groomed by his father in childhood to be an assassin, Macy’s character wants to change his life. He is a man who loves his son but not himself and is enveloped by chronic boredom.
The central conflict of this film arises when he seeks out psychotherapy to help him gain peace of mind. Ironically, in a quirky twist of fate, the therapy creates more conflicts for him. This film, with its fine performances and a strong script has enormous dramatic tension, drawing us into the twisted world of a fascinating character. His views of his family and a brief fantasy love interest are signposts for more and more anxiety. One of the strengths of Panic is in its unpredictability that at times startles, and in a bizarre way, amuses. This is a rental video not to be missed!
Wayne C. Diamond
Copyright ©2001 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved. Posted: December 1, 2001.