Produced by Sean Furst, Galt Niederhoffer, Peter Glatzer. Executive producers, Robert Baruc, Stevan A. Smallow, Randy Simon. Co-producers, Deborah Thompson-Duda, Paul Mezey.
Directed, written by James Rowe. Camera (FotoKem color), Christopher Walling; editor, Raul Davalos; music, Greg Edmonson; production designer, Gary Constable; costume designer, Emmy Taylor; sound (Dolby Digital, THX), Jonathan Stein; line producer, Cynthia Margulis; assistant director, Richard L. Fox; casting, Laurel Smith. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 17, 1999. Running time: 105 MIN.
With: Peter Facinelli, Jay R. Ferguson, Rodney Eastman, Chris Isaak, Amy Irving, Tom Arnold, Heather Stephens, Will Estes, Garvin Funches, Brent Jennings.
End of Innocence” is a sensitively told but ultimately too familiar tale set in small-town North Carolina about family violence, retribution, codes of honor and the deep bonds of adolescent friendship. Despite solid performances from a cast that includes Amy Irving, Tom Arnold and Chris Isaak, this sluggishly paced drama is strictly cable fare.
Pic is partly about high school seniors making the transition to adulthood and partly an account of a killing and the cover-up measures that alter those seniors’ lives. The close-knit clan is led by sensitive Danny (Peter Facinelli), grappling with the decision to take a college football scholarship or stay in town with his sweetheart. That decision becomes irrelevant when Danny’s simple-minded friend shoots his violent father. Fearful of what might become of the boy in prison, Danny and his friends dump the body and hide the evidence, but complications arise. Writer-director James Rowe’s approach is capable but by the numbers, with the drama never mustering a sufficiently edgy mood to be truly gripping.