Sean Penn's second outing as director has the same strengths and weaknesses as his first, THE INDIAN RUNNER. His emphasis on acting is welcome at a time when shallow, smirkingly self-referential performances threaten to become the Hollywood norm, but the
film's slack pacing and narrative indiscipline undermine its intensity. It's all fireworks and no focus. The world of Freddy Gale (Jack Nicholson) has fallen to pieces since his daughter was killed by hit-and-run driver John Booth (David Morse). The story of Gale's quest for revenge is
intermittently gripping, but it cops out in a tearful finale that just doesn't ring true. The best scenes involve Gale and his ex-w...