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Beltway sniper saga revisits 2002 terror in DC area

bluecaprice poster-400In October of 2002, the entire Washington, DC area was practically paralyzed by a series of sniper attacks that was difficult to solve because the murderers didn't fit the typical serial killer profile and there was neither rhyme nor reason for how they picked their victims. Plus, the shooter's perch was inside the trunk of a car, a blue Chevy Caprice with a peephole bored out of the trunk.

That not only afforded the pair plenty of cover but enabled them to make a fast getaway from the scene of each crime. Meanwhile, the general populace waxed hysterical, having no idea from which direction the next bullet might come.

If you're interested in understanding what motivated the two madmen behind the bloody spree, then Blue Caprice is designed with you in mind. Directed by Parisian Alexandre Moors, the movie co-stars Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond as John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, respectively.

Early on, we learn that the former was an ex-Marine who stopped the latter from drowning himself down in Antigua, then adopted the suicidal teen and brought him back to the States. The two subsequently dropped anchor in Tacoma where the Svengali-like taskmaster introduced his malleable protégé to military type training, including the use of guns.

However, something in John's brain snapped when his ex-wife got a restraining order that prevented him from seeing his children. That's when he decided it was time to pull up roots, relocate to DC and start hunting for humans.

I'm not sure to what extent the director would like the audience to empathize with either of these disgusting perps. I know Hollywood likes to make martyrs out of mobsters and murderers, but it usually waits at least a generation or two before romanticizing their life stories.

So please pardon this critic for finding it hard to stomach a sympathetic send-up of such despicable characters. At least Muhammad has already been put to death, and his accomplice is serving life without parole and will never again see the light of day.

Good riddance!

Good (2 stars)
Rated R for profanity, drug use and disturbing violence
Running time: 93 minutes
Distributor: Sundance Selects

(To see a trailer for "Blue Caprice," visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btxEOr34nw8 .)

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