In 2002 Washington, DC became one of the most terrifying places to be when the Beltway sniper attacks began. It put the city on edge like never before not knowing when and who the next target would be. It was only a matter of time before a film related to the subject would be made and now it has with Blue Caprice. The film sports a great cast including Isaiah Washington, Tim Blake Nelson, Joey Lauren Adams, and Tequan Richmond but does it deliver the emotional and psychological punch needed bring this story to life?
Blue Caprice is inspired by the real life Beltway sniper attacks and follows an abandoned boy is lured to America and drawn into the shadow of a dangerous father figure. This is a slow paced monotone film that has some great performances, but never really fully captures the horror of the situation. Given, this film focuses on the killers themselves, but the lead up and training, which is interesting doesn’t add too much to the story in the bigger picture. Of course it would have been in bad taste on some level to show some of the killings, but for this story it almost seems necessary to make it work. Instead what you get is a creative approach to step around it as much as possible while still trying to get the story across and its hard. There are some great moments here that do pack that needed punch to grab the audience and it does tell the story it sets out too, but it is missing any of the urgency surrounding their actions. This is a hard story to tell because the intrigue is in those responsible for these horrible acts, but at the same time you don’t want to make it seem like you are glorifying or downplaying what they did. There are a lot of aspects to this story that seem like they aren’t necessary or flushed out to make it more understandable to why they did what they did. Thankfully the great performances help to keep this movie on track.
This is one of those films that while it has some flaws, it does still tell a chilling story that works on some level. The story itself will obviously hit home with some people, but it does make sure to never make these killers out to anything more than what they are and in the process deliver a film that will be met with mixed results and emotions, but in reality that is what any good film should do.