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The 25th Hour Review Karyn 
Posted by: Karyn at 4:15 PM EST on 2/2/2003
File Under: Movies -> Cinema -> Review

Finally, after long anticipation, I was able to see The 25th hour, and I was definitely NOT disappointed. Directed by Spike Lee and starring Ed Norton of Fight Club fame, I absolutely loved it.

One of the biggest plusses for me is that the plot... well, that there was no plot. The exposition is that Monty (Ed Norton) is going to jail tomorrow: this is his last day. That's it. No dramatic storyline, no rising action or falling action, just a man dealing with his friends, girlfriend, and father before he's gone for 7 years. Sure there are a couple of minor sub-plots, such as the question of who ratted Monty out, but these are treated as minor matters and are almost inconsequential. They're just one more thing that everyone has to deal with, and no real importance is placed on their outcomes. The movie isn't about what happens today, but what will be different tomorrow. One friend sums it up perfectly when he says "It's over." Monty's life is finished once he leaves because when he comes back, nothing will be the same.

Despite the somber last hours of freedom feeling, the movie doesn't become bogged down with emotion. Monty and his friends crack jokes at every opportunity; black humor, to be sure, but funny as all hell. I didn't expect to laugh that much, particularly since most of the jokes revolve around the word 'fuck', but the dialogue is witty and believable.

For me (and this is an opinion that was not shared with the people I went with) one of the crowning scenes in the movie was when Monty goes off on a "Fuck you" rant to every type of person in the whole city of New York. Any kind of person he can think of, he lays out the worst things about them, and the nasty things that everybody thinks but tries to pretend that they don't notice. No one is left out, not even the person he loves, and not even himself because Monty knows that he feels regret only for being caught, not for anything that he's done.

As far as the ending goes... it wasn't really important. The movie wasn't building to a climax, so what happens at the end is no more relevant than what happens 42 minutes from the end. Did I like the ending? No, but I didn't dislike it either. It just didn't do anything for me. I still recommend this movie wholeheartedly. It's funny and insightful, and has well-acted characters who seem like you and me but without all of the pretenses of non-selfishness. Besides, it makes cops look like total pricks, and that always gets points in my book!

Recommended? Hell yes.
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