Domestic Disturbance (2001)


At a running time of simply an hour and twenty-one minutes “Domestic Disturbance” speeds through its narratiuve, and never leaves times for suspense, tension, or even logic. If the director Harold Becker had added a half hour more to pad the story and fill in the gaps, there likely would’ve been some great stuff. But that’s only really wishful thinking as “Domestic Disturbance” seems to ride on the fact that it’s hopelessly silly and lacking in thrills. In a movie that casts as Vince Vaugn as its primary psychotic villain, it becomes plainly obvious that the studios just aren’t even trying.

John Travolta plays divorced dad Frank who is attempting to help his son Danny adjust to his new stepfather Rick, only to discover that the erratic and unusual Rick is a psycho who is threatening Danny’s life after witnessing him commit murder. It also doesn’t help that Danny is a petulant brat, but that tends to clash with psychopaths. Now Frank is determined to save his family’s life and keep Rick from popping cracks about booze. No I jest, but how can you really take Vaughn seriously as a villain?

For all intents and purposes, I found John Travolta to be very convincing as devoted father Frank who will stop at nothing to save his son from this madman he is living with. It’s just tough not to chortle when you realize he’s going up against Vaughn. There is just little room in this movie for us to weed out the characters we like. Besides, the movie’s entire logic and lack thereof is just ridiculous. And how do you waste Steve Buscemi? A sloppy and woefully absurd thriller, “Domesic Disturbance” at least has seeds to be great, but it’s too bogged down in junky padding, horrific writing, and plot holes at every corner to salvage.