Genre Guesstimation – The Road to Perdition (2002)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Vern of the Video Vortex. We will be reviewing our favorite Graphic Novels that have been adapted for the screen.

The one caveat is that it has to be based on a book that has been published.

Example The Killing Joke would be acceptable because it’s based on an actual graphic novel.  The Dark Knight would not because it’s based on characters and there was no book before the movie.

Here is what appears to be the official/unofficial list of film adaptations of Graphic Novels

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of May by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Vern!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Graphic Novels that have been adapted for the screen.

“May you get to Heaven an hour before the Devil knows you’re dead” – John Rooney

Number of Times Seen – 2 (23 Feb 2003 and 11 May 2017)

Brief Synopsis – After a hit-man’s son see’s him do his job, he must find a way to make things right between them and also with the local mob boss and his son.

My Take on it – This is a film that I saw once years ago and because it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me, I never really made the effort to see it again.

I’ve been meaning to give it another try and the fact that Vern chose this genre for May, I decided that it was the perfect time to rewatch this and see if my memories of it fail me.

Unfortunately, my memories were solid and this film isn’t very memorable.

The cast is superb and it’s hard to imagine a film featuring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law and Daniel Craig wouldn’t be so great, but this film is proof that it is conceivable.

The story itself moves along too slowly for its own good and it drags far too often as it’s trying to move along.

They had a great opportunity to delve into a story about multiple father-son relationships but instead turn this into too much of an average gangster movie where everyone is just trying to kill one another the whole time.

The problem is that it starts off leading us in another direction and in the end gives us something that is quite unbalanced.

The character study is too superficial and instead of delving deeply into the characters lives, we get something that just skims the surface.

The potential wa sthere, but they really missed the mark here IMHO.

Bottom Line – Excellent cast, yet the story drags on too much and instead of dealing with a potentially great father-son film, we end up with an unbalanced gangster film.  Too much of the film feels like a regular gangster film and they don’t spend enough time letting us understand and get acquainted with the characters involved. A pretty average gangster movie that had the potential for greatness yet missed its mark.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to author Max Allan Collins, the “Road to Perdition” graphic novel was an American homage to the Manga series “Lone Wolf and Cub” by Kazuo Koike. Collins quotes Koike at the beginning of the book: “You must choose a road for yourself”. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Not even close. The film drags too much and doesn’t develop the characters well enough.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy


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Here is a link to my movie index A-Z

5 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – The Road to Perdition (2002)

  1. Total disconnect here. I thought this movie was stunning. Very dark. Maybe the darkest role that Hanks has ever played in his career. And Newman (as always) was excellent – garnering him the last Oscar nomination of his illustrious career. The scene in the rain, the scene of the car driving over the bridge into Chicago – with that magnificent score – is worth seeing the movie for right there. Jude Law is Terrific (and nearly unrecognizable). The scene at the diner is also wonderfully staged. I’m mentioning all of this from memory – having seen the movie when it came out in theaters – so clearly it made far more impact on me than it did you. It IS a story of fathers and sons – Hanks and his (the one who survives) and Newman and Law – and those 2 dynamics kept me riveted throughout. We’re definitely on opposite sides of the critical fence on Road To Perdition. I highly recommend it. If you can live with and survive the darkness of the story – it is quite well told.

    Liked by 1 person

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