A Clockwork Orange

Rated: R
Runtime: 2 Hours and 17 Minutes

Reviewer: Erik
Grade: C+

"A Clockwork Orange" isn't an easy movie to digest. The term "ultraviolence" is used a lot by the characters, and it says A LOT about this movie. It's disturbing almost the whole way through.

Anybody with a clue of cinema knows the set-up: Four hooligans with a love of raping and killing goon their way through the nights, only to have one get caught during an attempted robbery. Once caught, he opts for a quicker (yet experimental) rehabilitation that make him sick to his stomach at the mere thought of violence. I'll say no more about this process for the few out there who aren't sure what it is.

Violent movies have never bothered me, but violent movies about characters with no motive for what they do DOES bother me, and this one is right up there. The violent scenes disgusted me, but I continued to watch in an effort to be an objective viewer and be able to give a complete review.

Surprisingly, this movie gets more recognition for its characters and the supposed "coolness" of them (unnecessary violence constitutes stupidity in my book).

Underneath, however, is an interesting premise that could have kept this movie together if some of the more graphic scenes were tamed. The rehab method described earlier is a brainwashing of sorts; It doesn't give him a choice to decide between right and wrong -- Instead, he can't engage in violence, as if a switch has been thrown.

The obvious question raised is that of a person who is unable to commit heinous crimes, and how he can function as a human being if he can't make decisions and pay the consequences, good or bad. Live and learn, as they say.

When the treatment is done, it's sort of a hollow ending. One less criminal off the street, for sure, but less of a human being. A person who is unable to learn from his mistakes, because he's not free to make them.

A better movie would have concentrated on the obvious moral question and taken it a little further. Instead, the man is free, his friends are thuggish cops and his lesson MAY or MAY NOT have been learned. The viewer really isn't sure what to make of it.

With some fine-tuning and a little more class, this could have been a great movie. But, most of the time, I was too busy feeling sick to my stomach to care. And when I did care, the movie only scratches the surface of what it could been.