“The Flock” – 2007. Dir. Wai-keung Lau

With Richard Gere, Claire Danes, KaDee Strickland, Avril Lavigne and Ray Wise

 

“I think about a girl who didn’t come home… what I might’ve missed… and if I miss something again, who’s next.”

“The Flock”, to me, was a film that sounded very interesting; Richard Gere plays Erroll Babbage a retiring public service officer whose job is to check up on registered sex offenders. Claire Danes plays Allison Lowry, Erroll’s replacement who he is training during his remaining two weeks on the job. During these final days a girl goes missing, and Erroll believes that it’s one of his registers.

Erroll plays a burnt out public servant who is an alcoholic and has made his work his lives obsession. The film opens up with a creepyish title sequence of Erroll at home drinking, his apartment is littered with news paper clippings of missing girls and he has a state map on his wall with pins scattered all over the map representing the registered location of sex offenders.

This film is nothing more than a poor quality want-to-be “Seven”. While watching this film, you become so dis-attached from it, you find yourself not caring out the characters, not even caring out the victim of the film. Everything in the film feels forced, and everything happens all too easy. The film even ends with a “Seven” style ending.

This film tries to take you into the “underground” world of pornography and pedophilia, but it ends up looking like some low rent straight to DVD film – which this very well could have been. I don’t remember this being a theatrical release and I doubt very much this was played at festivals. What’s sad about this film is that it makes “8MM” look like “Citizen Kane”. Yeah.

I had much hope for this film, giving the brief plot synopsis I read, and the casting of Richard Gere and Ray Wise, who I have always considered one of the most underrated character actors working in film and TV. Watching Richard Gere play Erroll Babbage is like watching Jason Biggs play Richard Gere’s character in “Brooklyn’s Finest”.

I thought that Gere was incredible in “Brooklyn’s Finest”, but in this film he’s borderline mediocre, the exception is Gere’s performance in the horrible climax of the film – Gere is pretty damn good during that part. While watching this film, the events almost become comedic in the fact that the twist and turns are so outlandish and, forgive me for using this term – retarded.

The quality of this film is so poor that it seems like those slew of serial killer films such as “Ed Gein”, “Dahmer” and “Gacy”. This film is so poor and so low brow that I can’t even believe that anyone involved in this film would take it seriously. I can’t even begin to understand why Richard Gere would sign on to a film like this, and I can’t even believe that Wai-keung Lau (the director of the “Infernal Affairs” trilogy) would make a film this terrible. The only explanation I can think of is that the two of them wanted to work together.

I love Richard Gere, I mean, I think the guy is one incredible actor and ever since his turn in “Chicago”, he’s pumped out some outstanding performances. Watching Richard Gere in this film hurts my heart.

Rating: 2/10

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Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

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