Director: Neil LaBute
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson,
Kerry Washington, Eva La Rue, Bitsie Tulloch
RunTime: 1 hr 51 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: PG (Violence and Some Sexual References)
Official Website: http://www.lakeviewterracemovie.com/
Opening Day: 30 October 2008
In "Lakeview Terrace," a young couple (Patrick Wilson
and Kerry Washington) has just moved into their California
dream home when they become the target of their next-door
neighbor, who disapproves of their interracial relationship.
A stern, single father, this tightly wound LAPD officer (Samuel
L. Jackson) has appointed himself the watchdog of the neighborhood.
His nightly foot patrols and overly watchful eyes bring comfort
to some, but he becomes increasingly harassing to the newlyweds.
These persistent intrusions into their lives ultimately turn
tragic when the couple decides to fight back.
While most of us who live in humble HDB flats dream about
staying in a nice lakeside terrace where the view is gorgeously
breathtaking, you may want to stay put in your modest apartment.
That is, after seeing how a couple gets a rude chock from
their neighbour from hell after moving into a nice and spacey
house in California. Trust us; the lovely swimming pool doesn’t
even help to justify the torment they had to go through.
Wilson (Evening, Little Children) and Kerry Washington (The
Last King of Scotland, Ray) play an interracial couple who
moves into their new home, complete with a nice view and lots
of space for their romantic rendezvous. But their next door
neighbour played by a menacingly cold Samuel L. Jackson (Star
Wars: The Clone Wars, Jumper) disapproves of this couple’s
presence. Why? Because the newlyweds are an interracial couple.
Just because he is a cop doesn’t mean that he is a nice
neighbour, because the unfortunate couple will find out that
he will stop at nothing to drive them out of the neighbourhood.
this isn’t the most conventional plot we’ve heard
of in a while, things are not as intense as we hope them to
be. In fact, things get rather ridiculous and ludicrous as
the movie develops its story in its 111 minute runtime.
get introduced to Jackson’s character, who is a single
father who is still grieving the loss of his wife. He is the
type of father who demands things to be prim and proper with
his children. Similarly, neighbour should know better than
to mess with him because you don’t want to piss him
off. Then we have Wilson and Washington’s characters
who want nothing more than a blessed married life at Lakeview
Terrace. The two sides clash, and while there is some decent
tension buildup at the beginning of the movie, the enmity
soon becomes plain petty and inconsequential as the movie
treads along. And when the picture reaches a supposed climax
which involves guns and blood, you just wish things can be
a little more sophisticated than resolving the issue with
Neil LaBute (The Wicker Man, Nurse Betty) could have used
this story as an opportunity to raise discussions and questions
about racism and conflicts, but the potential chance eventually
becomes a conventional drama thriller with nothing new or
exciting to offer.
we have the cast’s sold performance to rely on at the
end of the day. The acclaimed Jackson delivers his stuff with
looming and intimidating presence. Are those daggers we see
in his eyes whenever he throws an ominous glare at the happily
married couple? Wilson exudes his manly charm by protecting
his wife, while Washington portrays her terrorized role with
believable fear and anxiety.
are also some moments in the movie that are wittily and hilariously
played out. One memorable scene sees Wilson playing R &
B music in his car stereo, possibly as an attempt to understand
the black culture better. It’s high time we make an
effort to really understand our friends and colleagues with
different cultural backgrounds, regardless of whether they
live in a big terrace house, or for that matter, a four room,
five room or executive HDB flat.
(The powerful performances from the cast saves the
movie from being another mediocre drama thriller)
Review by John Li