Every once in a while, I either forget to write a movie review or continue to put it off for whatever reason. By the time I come back to the review process, months have passed and, more than likely, the film didn't leave such a lasting impression on me to warrant the capability to go in depth on what I liked and didn't like about the film. Such is the case with the star-studded Lonely Hearts, a serial killer movie that surprisingly didn't get more of a marketing push.
Lonely Hearts stars John Travolta, James Gandolfini, Jared Leto, Salma Hayek, Scott Caan and Laura Dern, and is about a couple (played by Leto and Hayek) who travel around the countryside killing people for their money. Travolta and Gandolfini plays the cops who are hunting them down. Honestly, I don't even remember how the movie ends (though I remember something about a girl's head in a mailbox), but I do remember being relatively impressed by the gore and sadistic nature of the killing couple, especially Hayek. There's one scene where Leto is having sex with a woman to seduce her into money, but Hayek, in a jealous rage, storms into the room and stabs her in the back of the head with an axe - while she's still on top of Leto.
The two play well off one another, and I always appreciate Leto's willingness to adjust his appearance to look as sleazy as possible. He's a pretty good looking guy in real life, but in Lonely Hearts, with a scrawny frame and thinning hair, he really looks like a deadbeat. Neither will win any awards for the film, but they do a good job of portraying a couple that aren't necessarily killing for the sake of killing, but don't seem to really acknowledge that what they're doing is immoral or bad.
Travolta and Gandolfini don't get challenged much with their roles, as they just play cops who are pursuing a killer. There's no deep character development for the two of them, and it is going to take quite a while to see Gandolfini as someone other than Tony Soprano.
Overall, Lonely Hearts is a surprisingly decent picture, and given the right marketing spin it could have made a decent amount of money at the box office. As is, it is a film no one has heard of and no one will remember, and is probably already found in the bargain bin. There's nothing that really sets it apart from the pack, but that's still more than what I was expecting.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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