Tom Hanks as a bad guy? Who wants to see that? Well, actually Hanks starts off as just plain bad but ends up being good bad. Hanks as “plain bad” is known as Michael Sullivan a hit man for Irish mob boss John Rooney, played by Paul Newman.
When Sullivan’s son allows his curiosity to get the better of him, his whole family is placed in danger. Unbeknownst to Hank’s character a “hit” is placed on his eldest son but a miss-hap leads to the murder of his wife and youngest son.
The movie takes off from there. Michael Sullivan Sr. and Jr. embark on a journey of revenge against Rooney and his son.
This movie did two really unique things well. It allowed the relationship of father and son to develop through two different sets of parents. With John Rooney and his son Connor, there is an obvious power struggle between company boss and future boss. The Sullivans’s story is more coming of age. A young son is getting to know his father in a way he never thought he would.
The movie also allows its dark tone to be lightened with comical moments between Hanks character and Tyler Hoechlin, who plays his son Michael Jr.
The other unique aspect to this film is the relevance of violence. I am not a big proponent of violence in film but in the case of Perdition it is necessary and relevant to the story line that is somewhat dark. Sam Mendes (American Beauty) directs the film so it’s no surprise that there is a dark quality to it. The actors all do a wonderful job of acting their parts, filled with a small amount of dialogue that characters’ emotion is felt well throughout the picture.
All in all this is a great film, touching and insightful, and shouldn’t be missed.
Hanks and Newman star in Road to Perdition