Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jacob's Ladder

Jacob's Ladder (1990)

Directed by Adrian Lyne

Screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin

Stars: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, Jason Alexander, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Patricia Kalember, Matt Craven, Eriq La Salle, Ving Rhames,  Brian Tarantina, Anthony Alessandro, Macauley Culkin and Danny Aiello

I have a completely different perception of what Jacob's Ladder was supposed to be. I thought the film was going to be a mind trip for all of the movie. I was wrong. Adrian Lyne made something other than a sexually charged thriller. This is a psychological thriller. That's different, right?

Jacob Singer (Robbins) is a Vietnam War veteran living in New York city as a postal worker with his second wife, Jezzie (Peña). He starts having debilitating dreams about his time in the war when his platoon were wiped out, his life with his first wife, Sarah (Kalember) and the death of his son, Gabe (Culkin). Nobody knows what is going on with him, including Jacob himself. The more the dreams persist, the more confused he becomes about what is real and what is not.

At first I was thinking, not another Vietnam War movie, but it's not. The movie is about mental deterioration of a man's psyche. The film was about the effects of war before PTSD was in the vernacular. Jacob was a tortured soul that wants to have peace in his life. As the movie goes along, you see what the ending was going to be. A couple of characters have hinted about the end of the movie. It kinda made the movie anti-climactic in that way.

Tim Robbins gives a very convincing performance as Jacob. A man trapped in his own thoughts. He doesn't know what is real and what is not. He wants to find answers about why is he having the dreams. What do they mean? How can he get rid of them? Is he crazy? Is he hallucinating four years after the incident in Saigon?

I liked the movie overall, but I thought the blatant clues left by several characters ruined the end for me.

My Rating


  1. I don't think I've ever seen this one all the way through, but I guess I'd be down for it.

    The telegraphed ending makes me hesitate...

    Good review! Keep 'em coming.

    1. The movie is not bad. I thought it was going to be a major mind trip. It's like a Total Recall like. The original.