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By Doug Brunell | July 11, 2006

“Touched” seems like it was adapted from a play. Most of it takes place in a death row prison cell and is a conversation between Reverend Tucker (Warren Vanders) and Jack (Matt Valenti). Reverend Tucker tries to bring faith to the young man, and the young man tries to test the reverend’s faith. It’s pretty typical stuff with the standard philosophical discussions and a twist ending that can be seen coming from an electric chair away. There are some good moments in the film, such as a later scene where Jack gives the Reverend some panties so that the prisoner can smell “innocence” one last time before he dies. (He wants the Reverend to bathe some young girl and wash her with Ivory soap before making her wear the panties for the night.) It’s a creepy scene that was probably meant to be touching. Regardless of the intent, it’s a good scene, though it is tempered by something that happened earlier in the film.
The suspension of disbelief utterly fails in a scene where the entire death row population breaks out into a song about God. It doesn’t come across as anything but hokey and forced. It also blows whatever dramatic tension had been in the film up until that time (though all things considered, it wasn’t much tension to begin with). Technically, this is a sound film. The actors are all fine, too. It’s the story that is weak. You can tell that the intention was good, however, but this is a case where intentions aren’t nearly enough.

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