I watched “The River Murders” directed by Rich Cowan and starring Ray Liotta, Ving Rhames and Christian Slater. It’s a 2011 crime thriller that I guess went straight to DVD before ending up on Netflix Canada. There is no image of a movie poster on the internet, just of a DVD cover. Figuring this out makes me kind of like a detective, and puts me head and shoulders above the detectives in this film.

Look, I knew I wasn’t getting into the greatest of movies here. My hopes were that Liotta could carry one or two scenes, Slater would ham it up a bit, and Rhames could sort of tie it together with some intensity, but none of that happened. Ray Liotta plays his role as a detective with all the drive of a substitute teacher, Christian Slater’s FBI agent should is more Hollywood celebrity roast guest that a fed, and Ving Rhames plays one note in every scene he’s in. The supporting cast is as bland and formless as the headliners, so the acting and complete lack of direction drags this move to hell.

The worst part of it all is that the script isn’t half-bad. There is a real mystery here, one that does have a few twists and turns, and when the killer is revealed, it makes sense. He’s got motivations, a real reason to desire revenge and it leads nicely to a conflict with the protagonists of the story.

Looking at the DVD cover, the quote “Not since Seven has a deadly sin been this terrifying.” by Nathan Swank of flix66.com really grabbed me. So I went to flix66 and looked up Nathan Swank’s profile. Sadly, the review for The River Murders isn’t even up on the site, so I can’t see what led Swank to call this movie terrifying. Because it’s not. It’s slow. It’s plodding. It occasionally stages grizzly murder scenes, but those pale in comparison to any scene shown on CSI, CSI: Miami, or CSI:NY. It’s not even disturbing, and I have a low tolerance for gore and torture-porn. Nathan Swank can’t be trusted here.

I watched this movie from beginning to end so you don’t have to.

Here’s the trailer: