The Minus Man

1999 serial killer movie

Rating: 13/20

Plot: Vann drives a brown pickup truck, not particularly with a destination in mind but just going wherever he goes. He stops occasionally to poison people and bury them in shallow graves, but other than that, he doesn't have much to do. He stops for a while in an oceanside town, staying in a room once occupied by the estranged daughter of his landlords. He gets a temporary job with the post office, is gifted a pair of tennis shoes, and poisons some more people. Merry Christmas!

There's some intriguing bits and pieces to The Minus Man, but it really never gets anywhere. Like Vann, it just drifts. As a troubling glimpse into the quietly disturbing mind of the typical "He always kept to himself" and "Seemed like a normal guy" type serial killer, this is fairly effective, and it's fun watching Owen Wilson take on this kind of role. Owen's good here, but it's the type of character everybody's seen many, many times before. I do like the focus on the subtleties, the psychological aspects of this sort of thing that are sometimes drowned in a sea of contrived suspense sequences, chase scenes, and ugly violence in other movies like this. The plot takes a goofy twist near the end, and I didn't feel full afterward. Not that I wanted to follow these characters around longer, but I just wish there was more depth here. Still, it's much more adept than Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer at showing the inner monologue of a screw-up and calmly violent soul.

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