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The Skulls

video review out of 4 Movie Review: The Skulls

Starring: Joshua Jackson, Craig T. Nelson
Director: Rob Cohen
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: March 2000
Genre: Suspense

*Also starring: Will Beckford, Paul Walker, Leslie Bibb, Steven Harris, William L. Petersen, Hill Harper

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows no stars
2.  John Beachem read the review movie review
3.  Dustin Putman read the review movie review
4.  MrBrown read the review no stars
5.  Walter Frith read the review no stars

Review by Susan Granger
0 stars out of 4

Having lived in New Haven for many years, I often wondered when Hollywood would capture the suspense and influence inherent in influential, century-old secret societies like Yale's Skull and Bones. Obviously, screenwriter John Pogue (a Yale dropout) and director Ron Cohen sensed the intrigue but they've failed to capture the drama in this bland, formulaic, heavy-handed dud. Joshua Jackson (TV's "Dawson's Creek") plays a pre-law student at a prestigious Ivy League university only identified as "Y" but with tell-tale blue-and-white colors on its crew jerseys. Being from a working-class background, at first he's thrilled when he's tapped by the powerful Skulls, primarily because, as a member, he'll get pre-acceptance to law school, along with tuition, plus several other enticing amenities that money can buy - like $20,000 in his depleted bank account and a new car. But after his best buddy and room-mate (Hill Harper) is killed while delving into the Skulls' malevolent little secrets for the college newspaper, he begins to have second-thoughts - which are aided and abetted by his intended blue-blood girl-friend (Leslie Bibb). If you remember that President George Bush was a member of Yale's Skull and Bones, along with his son George W., you'll catch the nasty innuendoes about a father-son team hierarchy - only here, it's a prominent judge (Craig T. Nelson) who's aiming at the Supreme Court while his weasly son (Paul Walker) is up to no good on campus. And William Peterson does what looks like a President Clinton imitation. The grisly, garish initiation rites are straight out of the coffins in a Gothic horror novel. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Skulls" is a silly, brainless 1. Numskulls is more like it - so don't even bother renting the eventual video.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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