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A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
Analysis Date: April 26, 2003
CAP Score: 26 out of 100
CAP Influence Density: 2.94
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(2003), R -- a great deal more gore and vulgarity than Hitchcock ever produced.
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Columbia Pictures Corporation, Konrad Pictures
Distribution (US): Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Director(s): James Mangold
Producer(s): Stuart M. Besser, Cathy Konrad
Written by/Screenplay: Michael Cooney
Cinematography/Camera: Phedon Papamichael
Music: Alan Silvestri
Film Editing: David Brenner
Casting: Lisa Beach, Sarah Katzman
Production Design: Mark Friedberg
Art Direction: Cindy Carr
Viewed At: Diftwood Theater 6, Granbury, Texas
As "Snoopy"(tm) would write, "It was a dark and stormy night..." Identity is a well-made murder mystery with high wattage performances of the Hitchcockian flair but with a great deal more gore and vulgarity than Hitchcock ever produced. An intricate plot with a couple twists impossible to predict captured the attention and imagination of the viewer very soon into the picture and never let go of it.
There are two plots or stories to Identity. The first involves poor not-so-little Malcolm Rivers (Pruitt Taylor Vince) who has been convicted of ten brutal and sadistic murders. Rivers is scheduled to be executed for his crimes in 24 hours. But Rivers' shrink (Alfred Molina) is trying to convince the judge that Rivers is not responsible, that he is a victim of multiple personalities and that his execution should be stayed (pardoned would be a better term). "Yes, his body committed the murders but his mind did not." That one stupid line of script should not be used to measure the caliber of the rest of this 87 minutes of blood, brutality and downright evil behavior.
The second plot/story is of ten seemingly unconnected people who are strangely thrown together and become the victims of a sadistic murderer.
An unusually heavy downpour has flooded all the routes to and from a Nevada "Psycho" motel run by a guy who does not seem to know much about the motel. His name is not Norman nor is there a house on a hill above the motel. He says he is Larry (John Hawkes), the manager. One by one, people seek shelter in the motel. The first of the ten people we meet who need shelter at the motel are George (John C. McGinley), his injured wife, Alice (Leila Kenzle) and their young son, Timothy (Bret Loehr). Alice was severely injured by being hit by a car while George was fixing a flat tire. The car that hit Alice (graphically) was driven by ex-LA cop, Ed (John Cusack) who was transporting spoiled actress, Caroline Suzanne (Rebecca De Mornay).
Next we meet Corrections Officer Rhodes (Ray Liotta) who was transporting a multiple murder prisoner, Robert Maine (Jake Busey). Along the way a Las Vegas hooker, Paris (Amanda Peet) is thrown into the mix. Paris is leaving the life of sin to farm an orange/lime grove in Florida. Also thrown into the mix are half-hearted newlywed couple Lou (William Lee Scott) and Ginny (Clea DuVall) who were wed just hours ago, Las Vegas style. Ginny "captured" Lou by lying to him about being pregnant.
"You saw what happened. We all saw what happened" by Paris does not give a clue to the real killer's identity. That all the victims had the same birth date gave no clue either. Neither did the interesting information about states of residence of the victims. And that the bodies of the victims strangely disappear along with the blood stains at the murder sites gives no help in discovering who amongst the eleven (the ten guests and the manager) is the killer. Only when the two stories/plots become connected does any form of hint to the identity of the killer emerge. How the two stories/plots are connected is indeed clever.
In the surrealistic and twilight reality style of Identity, I am not sure anyone was killed. But that is up to you to discover should you decide that the information we reveal is acceptable in and as entertainment. While the listing in the Findings/Scoring section provides a detailed itemization of our findings, a few of the issues of assaults on morality and ethics are summarized below.
Gore is a steady presence as would be expected from knife murder, murder by baseball bat being shoved down a mans' throat, crushing car murders and point-blank gunfire murders and murder by choking with a chain. Enough violence was noted to drag the Wanton violence/Crime down to zero [Phil. 4:8]. While no nudity was noted, enough innuendo and behaviors such as the prostitute lighting cake candles on her trick's chest were noted to drain the Sex/Homosexuality score to zero [Prov. 6:25 - 26, 32; Rev. 22:15; Eph. 5:5]. If there were such an award, I would give Identity the Cussfest award with as many uses of the most foul of the foul words as other examples of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Cor. 8:7]. There were nearly as many uses of God's name in vain with or without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11] as there were uses of the most foul of the foul words or the other three/four letter words. Please be sure to read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section whether you decide the MPAA rating is or is not loony and use that rationale to justify checking it out for yourself. Apparently a couple parents did. In the middle of the afternoon Saturday.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Offense to God (O)
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|NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|