Culture Magazine

Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

By Newguy

logoDirector: Adrian Lyne

Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin (Screenplay)

Starring: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Pena, Danny Aiello, Matt Craven, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Jason Alexander, Patricia Kalember, Eriq La Salle, Ving Rhames

Plot: Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam war veteran attempts to discover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusion, and perception of death.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Confusing Thriller

Story: Jacob’s Ladder starts with Jacob (Robbins) during the Vietnam war where his unit comes under attack from first an airborne toxic before coming up against the enemy. Jacob alone finds himself stabbed before waking from his nightmares in present day. In the present day Jacob is involved in a relationship with Jezzie (Pena) after his previous marriage didn’t work out where he lost a son.

Jacob finds himself having flashbacks between present time and his time in Vietnam while also becoming paranoid about a series of events that seem to be following him with ghost like images around. We follow Jacob has he has to put the pieces together as he tries to figure out what is happening in his life and what is actually real as he discovers his fellow platoon also happen to be experiencing these visions.

Jacob’s Ladder brings us into the world of a war veteran as he deals with his own personal issues, we also get to see him question his own sanity and have to solve what is happening to him. While this all comes off confusing it gets made even more confusing the final moments makes a lot of the film come off like what happened?

Actor Review

Tim Robbins: Jacob is the Vietnam war veteran who has lived through the marriage which fell apart after they lost a child and involved with a new woman. He starts seeing images all around him of ghost like figures which seems to follow him around while also jumping between time leaving him feeling paranoid about just what is real. Tim gives one of his best performances of his career with the constant look of paranoia on his face.

Elizabeth Pena: Jezzie is the new girlfriend of Jacob who doesn’t like his former marriage she tries to support him but easily snaps when Jacob starts freaking out. Elizabeth gives a good performance as the love interest dealing with the issues of Jacob.

Danny Aiello: Louis is Jacob’s trust chiropractor who knows all the issues Jacob has been having, he is one of the few people who understands what is going on without ever having been part of the war. Danny gives us a good supporting performance that works for his scenes but in the end isn’t involved enough.

Matt Craven: Michael is the man who created the experiment and has been trying to help uncover the truth the government has been hiding. Matt gives us a basic supporting role that never gets enough time to give the most detail.

Support Cast: Jacob’s Ladder has a supporting cast that all come into small moments of the life of Jacob each one ends up making him wonder about what is happening just when he thinks he knows the answers.

Director Review: Adrian LyneAdrian brings us a mind bending mystery thriller that keeps us guessing from start to finish.

Horror: Jacob’s Ladder brings us the horror of what happens to Jacob’s mind set as the story unfolds showing how certain things could be real or not.

Mystery: Jacob’s Ladder leaves us wondering about what is happening, what is real and how will we find the answers.

Settings: Jacob’s Ladder keeps the settings easy to tell which time period we are in with it either being the war, present or the first marriage.
Special Effects: Jacob’s Ladder has great effects to create the horror effects during the film.

Suggestion: Jacob’s Ladder is one to try, I will rate it highly but I would understand how it does come off confusing in places. (Try It)

Best Part: Confusing style.

Worst Part: Was it all for nothing?

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $26 Million

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Tagline: The most frightening thing about Jacob Singer’s nightmare is that he isn’t dreaming.

Overall: Mind bending mystery thriller that keeps yo guessing.



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