Into the Abyss

Director: Werner Herzog
Year Released: 2011
Rating: 2.0

Oddly 'ordinary' (for Herzog) look at the capital punishment issue and, specifically, the crimes Michael Perry and Jason Burkett committed against three people in Texas (over, of all dumb things, a car). I say 'ordinary' because while Herzog's forte is taking an abstract, almost poetic approach to his subject matter (whatever it might be) - and emphasizing the strange and wondrous in nature - here it's like he was asked to film a blasé special for some crime-oriented TV channel, and the usual delight in the absurd he so normally relishes is almost nonexistent (though discovering that there was a tree growing in the middle of the stolen car is a Herzogian moment). His interviews and his approach are simply too literal when balanced against the off-beat cinema he's been making for the last several decades, though he finds a kind of kindred spirit in the somewhat mad 'spouse' of inmate Burkett, who apparently snuck his semen out of the jail so she could be inseminated (the two are not permitted conjugal visits). Love is mad, I tell you.