Skip the Tenderness Aside
Russell Crowe top bills Tenderness, a supposed thriller that turned into a bland drama. It’s about Eric Poole (Jon Foster), a teen who just got out of juvenile detention. Crowe plays Detective Cristofuoro, the cop responsible for Eric’s incarceration and has kept a close watch on him ever since he got out of prison. Then there’s Lori (Sophie Traub), a girl who is obsessed with the ex-convict.
The pace of Tenderness is slow but the strong emotions of the characters make up for it. It tried to be a deep, meaningful movie with the theme of change or the lack of it. In a way it succeeded because I felt nothing changed during the course of the movie.
Tenderness has a few questions left unanswered. So we learned that Eric killed his parents and a girl after raping her. Lori is stalking him because she saw what he did and was thrilled by it. But why is the detective so consumed in putting him back in jail? And how is his comatose wife relevant to the story? The movie didn’t even tell us why she’s in the hospital in the first place. Maybe the answers are found in the book by Robert Cormier where the movie was based on. But after watching Tenderness, I won’t put it on my priority list.
I’m not much of a Russell Crowe fan and Tenderness will not convince me to be one. His portrayal of the detective was flat and it didn’t help that the character’s lone mission throughout the movie was to pin down Eric.
Tenderness can be likened to a steamroller, heavy and slow. It wouldn’t keep you on the edge of your seat. The ending was predictable. C’mon, even the detective knew that Eric will commit a mistake sooner or later. It didn’t matter that Lori’s death was an accident and Eric tried to save her.
Tenderness is for Russell Crowe fans. Since I’m not a fan, I don’t know why I saw it in the first place. If you see this now playing on cable, change the channel.