Daryl Hannah plays CJ, a world-weary hired assassin. She wants out of the life, but hercurrent job goes awry when the drugs she is suppossed to recover for mob boss Alex Rocco gomissing. They have wound up in the hands of nervous Brad Renfro and his very pregantgirlfriend, Dominique Swain. CJ finds it difficult to kill these two young people, and this gets herinto trouble herself. Meanwhile, she begins to succumb to the overtures of a former priest (EricMabius), who wants a… actual relationship, rather than anonymous sex.
The standout performances here are from Swain (whose teary venality makes her a primecontender for Piece of Work of the Year) and Hannah. Emotionally closed off, Hannah conveysvolumes about CJ through a simple twitch of the head or clenching of the jaw. Her face is afasinatingly dilineated sculpture in muscle and bones, and she has mastered this instrument mostimpressively. More mood piece than action thriller, and drenched in a cold, despairing light,The Job doesn’t entirely escape Hollywood sentiment, but compensates with some utterlyuncompromising ruthlessless when it comes to the Renfro and Swain characters.
This is a quiet film punctuated by sudden, brief explosions of violence, much as its centralcharacter is still, silent and sullen, until she too bursts forth. Fittingly, the audio is quiet much ofthe time too, but there are some good choices made regarding environmental effects, and themusic sounds good too. This is not a case of the volume levels being too low. As becomesobvious when there are gunshots or car crashes (or the big surround feel of the music), theapproach here is to create a sense of contained strength. For the most part, it works.
The colours have a neat, frigid blue tone to them, very much in keeping with the mood of thestory. The contrasts are fine, with excellent blacks, and the image is sharp. The only real problemwith the 16×9 transfer is the tendency to pulse in and out of focus from time to time.
Writer/director Kenny Golde, producer Dan Levin and co-producer Scott Sorentino gettogether on the commentary. There is much kidding around, but a fairly detailed breakdown ofhow the film was shot as well. There are storboard comparisons for three scenes (which playcontinuously when this feature is selected). Highlighting the Lions Gate logo gives you trailersfor The Job and Serial Killing 101. The menu’s main page is animated andscored.
A solid crime drama, much better than most direct-to-video fodder, which rings someinteresting changes, playing out to the fullest such notions as both the killer and the potentialvictim being pregnant. Check it out.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Storyboard Comparisons