After his wife is murdered by a Las Vegas mobster,
a teacher plans out his elaborate revenge.
Dolan's Cadillac (2009)
Directed by Jeff Beesley
Written by Richard Dooling
Starring Christian Slater, Wes Bentley, Emmanuelle
Vaugier, Greg Byrk, Aiden Devine, Al Sapienza
Based on the short story by Stephen King
I found out that Stephen King allows young up-and-coming filmmakers to adapt his short stories for only $1.00. This isn't necessarily good news for Stephen King fans, as this means a lot of his adaptations will either be terrible or never see the light of day. When I found out "Dolan's Cadillac" was one of the adapted few, I knew I had to see it, as that story quickly became one of my favorites. I had zero expectations going into Dolan's Cadillac, but I highly enjoyed it. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this film has one of the most satisfying conclusions in modern film history, as anybody familiar with the story would expect.
Wes Bentley (whose work I've never really enjoyed) plays a teacher named Robinson whose wife is killed by a car bomb after she agrees to testify against convicted human trafficker Jimmy Dolan (Christian Slater). Robinson then dedicates his life to revenge by planning to bury Dolan alive in his custom Cadillac. While Bentley did a much better job than he usually does, it was Slater who stole the show. He played up Dolan as this egomanical scumbag with zero regard for human life, but then sold me on his desperation and fear when Robinson trapped him in the ground. Watching this strong, sadistic villain beg for his life as a mild-mannered teacher throws shovelfuls of dirt at the car is equal parts cringeworthy and fulfilling.
I wish more of King's work was adapted to film like Dolan's Cadillac. Most of them are half-assed or just plain terrible. Occasionally, you get one of these. It doesn't break any ground but it's a good movie. Dolan's Cadillac is a simple, contained revenge story that pays off in the most excruciating way possible. In the end, that's all I'm looking for in a film like this. Simple, contained, but ultimately worth it.