Domestic Disturbance

| November 14, 2001

Travolta plays Frank Morrison, a small town wooden boat builder who’s son Danny (played by Matthew O’Leary) has a bit of a lying problem ever since his dad and mom (Susan Morrison Barnes of Meet the Parents) got divorced. Now that mom and her new boyfriend Rick Barnes (played by Vaughn)—a slick, rich businessman who was just named man of the year—are to be married, Danny starts to get even more out-of-hand with skipping school and doing other naughty things. So when after the wedding Danny freaks out and tries to tell everyone he had just witnessed his new stepfather murdering some guy at the local brickworks, nobody believes him and instead thinks he’s just acting out because he just found out his mom is pregnant.
Although things seem bleak for poor Danny, who is now being threatened on a nightly basis by his new daddy, Danny’s real dad Frank starts to rethink everything over and realizes that while Danny may lie to everyone, he never lies to him. What begins now is a bit of a whirlwind effect as Frank becomes infatuated with Rick Barnes and who is really is and at the same time protecting his son, who has suddenly stopped talking to him. What Frank doesn’t realize is that Rick had threatened Danny and told him if he didn’t stop going to see his dad and didn’t stay with them, that Rick would hurt Frank.
While action thrillers are pretty much a dime a dozen, Domestic Disturbance puts an interesting twist on things with the role of Detective Warren (Chris Ellis), who is the police detective that knows Danny’s history and is the one that he goes to about the murder. Because of his knowledge of what Danny is like, he really doesn’t go any great lengths to check out his story entirely. In fact, as Frank is starting to put together the pieces of the puzzle he doesn’t really believe him either, until Frank gets him one major piece of evidence that shows who Rick Barnes really is.
Of course to tell any more would spoil the end of the movie, but I will say that unlike many other action thrillers, Domestic Disturbance keeps moving at a very strong, swift pace, which matches the action perfectly. This movie knows what it’s about and gives the audience just the right amount of extra information it needs in a condensed format for easy digestion. It doesn’t get hung up on erroneous details that would make it crawl and make the action less intense, which is how action movies like Chill Factor failed.
In short, Domestic Disturbance is a great movie is you’re looking for a good amount of action and a lot of intense concentration on the storyline. Once again Travolta is brilliant and Vaughn plays a wonderful psycho dad. If you want to have fun when going to the movies and don’t want to have to listen to all the screaming kids at Monsters Inc., then Domestic Disturbance is right up your alley.

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