In 2002 two men wreaked havoc on the cities of Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia by murdering ten people with a sniper rifle. They traveled around in a 1990 blue Chevrolet Caprice sedan, firing their rifle from a makeshift hole in the back of their vehicle. They would pick random targets, shoot them, and simply drive off to their next destination. Although their terror only lasted three weeks in the month of October, they caused lasting panic throughout the country. Stepping outside didn’t seem safe anymore, as no pattern could be found among the victims. To the sane, no correlation could be made between the dead, but to these two men, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, nothing about their actions was random at all. According to this film, their choice of targets were based on randomness so that a pattern could never be found, therefore making it all the more difficult to find them.
In this film the focus is what transpired prior to their murder spree. This is a very slow, methodical character study about innocence lost, or rather stolen, and in its absence evil slips through. Muhammad was a man that felt betrayed by his wife and country, and through Malvo he saw opportunity for revenge. Isaiah Washington plays Muhammad and what he brings to the role is a sense of subtle hatred, which built up into what happened in 2002. Alexandre Moors, the director, shows that his interest is not in the violence, but more so about why these men felt that violence needed to happen in the first place. His focus on the characters lets the viewer into this world that led to so much panic, and it explains that like most killers, their world view was most definitely skewed.
Before he encountered the man that would change everything for him, Lee Boyd Malvo (Tequan Richmond) was just a poor kid living in the Caribbean with his mother. When she leaves for the U.S. he is left feeling abandoned and angry. Not long after his mother left him he meets John Allen Muhammad, who almost without question takes this young man under his wing. Together they make their way to the U.S. where they stay with a friend. As the movie continues on we start seeing Muhammad’s anger become his only mood and it is through Malvo that he will get what he feels is necessary. Muhammad wants to create panic through murder by rifle. After training Malvo how to fight, shoot, and drive a car they set out to begin their mission, as they saw it. Muhammad tells Malvo that their purpose is to tear down the house of cards that we all live under. He says it is all so fragile and he wants to bring it down around us. According to this his original plan was to find other unguided young people whom he could train and send back out into the world to continue what he and Malvo started. Thankfully law enforcement discovered and arrested both men three weeks into their “mission”.
This movie wasn’t what I expected at all. I thought it would be a buildup to a period I think we all remember too well. Instead it shows how Muhammad took an innocent young man and changed his very nature. In the film Muhammad, looking at Malvo, says, “I’ve created a monster.” Needless to say he was right. Malvo appeared to be a decent enough young man who simply needed a father figure in his life. Unfortunately before he could find such a man, Muhammad got his hooks in.
I think it is the style the director brings that makes this so haunting; as I said he doesn’t focus on the violence itself but instead focuses on how contagious and blinding misplaced hatred can be. It’s slow, almost like watching a disease take someone over; there is nothing you can do but watch in dismay. As I wrote this I looked up facts about these men and while some things were altered, or even completely changed, it keeps one thing truthful and that is what these two individuals set out to do and theorizes their motives. The acting is on key, the direction is slow but purposeful, and the script is unwavering in what it wants to talk about. Do not see this expecting a big violent action/drama sort of movie; it’s not that at all. Know that it’s primarily about character and dangerous relationships and you might just enjoy Blue Caprice.
Rated R For: disturbing violent content, language and brief drug use
Run Time: 93 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Isaiah Washington, Tequan Richmond, Joey Lauren Adams, Tim Blake Nelson
Directed By: Alexandre Moors
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 4.5/ Visuals: 4
OVERALL: 4 Nerdskulls