Quick recap: A serial killer uses the seven deadly sins as a motive to murder people
Fun (?) fact: All of John Doe’s books were real, written just for the film. They took two months to complete, which is the estimated time Somerset said it would take to read them.
My thoughts: Se7en is a good movie in that, ‘I’m into serial killers, but not INTO serial killers’ kind of way. I love me a well done murder mystery (despite having never seen CSI or Law and Order), and this movie satisfies all the things I love about the genre: creative death, a sarcastic detective and a fascinating journey to the library.
The biggest aspect that separates Se7en from other crime movies is that it manages to make the villain an actual villain. Hannibal Lecter is a gruesome killer, yet somehow I found myself rooting for him. This guy (John Doe) was so insane and the murders so brutal that I was 100% on the cops’ side. I also liked that there wasn’t a storyline to delve into John Doe’s past and explain what made him do the things he did. Dude’s a lunatic and that’s all there is to it.
Despite the creativity of the murders, the rest of the movie is your run of the mill police procedural. There’s even a montage of Somerset and Mills analyzing the clues separately, their stereotypes brightly on display. Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is a hardened detective, literally 6 days from retirement while his partner Mills (played by Brad Pitt) is the cocky young detective who throws Somerset for a loop. It’s like the Odd Couple, but more boring because the two figure out they need each other pretty quick. The mystery of who’s the killer is solved rather easily and I was relieved that it wasn’t anyone we had already been introduced to. For the couple of people who haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil the it. All I’ll say is that the case isn’t wrapped up as nicely as you think it is.
Another reason that sets this movie apart from others of its kind is its darkness. There is no happy ending (sorry, SPOILER ALERT) and I was left on my own to search for meaning- Is it that we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t? Is it that sometimes when you feel you have triumphed you have really lost? Or is it that despite Brad Pitt being a beautiful man, even he can’t pull off a goatee and frosted tips? The mystery endures.
Final review: 4/5. It’s definitely a gruesome film and not one I’m going to go out and buy on DVD any time soon.
Up next: 8 1/2