The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
"Murphy's War" is an ambitious attempt at a thoughtful action movie, but its thought and action don't connect very well, and the ending is as unsatisfactory as it is inevitable. Along the way, though, there are some fine scenes by that splendid action director Peter Yates ("Bullitt"), and the bones of a good performance by Peter O'Toole.
He plays one of two survivors of a German U-boat attack during the final days of World War II. The other survivor has managed to beach an amphibious airplane a few miles downstream on the Venezuelan River where the U-boat is concealed, and O'Toole patches up the plane and sets out to sink the submarine.
The movie's best sequences involve the warplane, which bounces seemingly forever along the river before it finally, grudgingly, crawls up into the air. There is also some interesting business at the end, when O'Toole attacks the grounded submarine with a wheezy old barge and finally drops a torpedo on it with a crane.
But by then, the character of Murphy has become so clearly deranged that the ending doesn't contain much satisfaction. If Murphy is a madman - and he acts suspiciously like one during the last half hour - that we can't get much involved in the revenges he plans, no matter how richly they may be deserved.
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