Main cast: Clifton Collins Jr (Richard Brautigan), Colin Ferguson (Dennis Mahoney), Josie Rebecca Davis (Kathy Mahoney), Stephen Lobo (John Amir), Nicole Leduc (Courtney Mahoney), Gig Morton (Sean Mahoney), Michael St John Smith (Sheriff Weller), Terence Kelly (The Reverend)
Director: Ronny Yu
Ronny Yu basically serves up a more tragic and supernatural take on that movie Face/Off in Family Man. Dennis Mahoney is a goody-goody family man who has the perfect life with his wife and kids – which is how we know things will soon go very badly for him. And they do: for talking to his wife over the phone while he is driving, his vehicle gets rammed by Richard Brautigan’s. As a result, they both die at about the same time at the hospital – and something happens to cause the two men to switch bodies and “wake up” after. This puts Dennis in a huge pickle, as Richard is a Family Man – the moniker for a serial killer that raped and murdered entire families, and now “Richard” is behind bars while evidence for “his” crimes begin to surface. And oh boy, his family now harbors a serial killer who deliberately targets families…
This is a dark and unhappy episode – be careful of the ending, it is pure ouch – but this entire episode is memorable only for the last ten minutes or so. Up to that point, this episode suffers from one predictable problem: there isn’t much Dennis can do as he’s behind bars, so for a long time this episode goes around in circles, showing me how frustrated he is but never really going anywhere. Also, poor Dennis doesn’t come off as too bright, as for a long time he’s trying to prove his innocence by… telling his defense attorney that he knows the exact date and time of his “death”. You can guess how convincing that is, I’m sure. He wastes a lot of time trying to do things that obviously will not work, although to be fair, I don’t know what else he could have done. I do know that the end result is an episode that is basically a slow and frustrating wait until the hero finally gets off his arse and does something. At last.
Family Man for the most part is a slow, plodding episode, but it manages to get its act together and stabs my heart in its final act. Well played, I suppose, but I’ve had better.