The Visit | Chicago Reader

The Visit

This exceedingly earnest melodrama—written, produced, and directed by Jordan Walker-Pearlman—revolves around a young black convict named Alex (Hill Harper) who's serving time for a rape he insists he didn't commit. Embittered by his incarceration and the realization that he's dying of AIDS, Alex takes out his frustration on his older brother (Obba Babatunde), the only family member who's visited him in prison. After an especially angry confrontation, Alex persuades him to talk his parents into coming to see him, setting up a painful journey toward reconciliation. The film, adapted from a play by Kosmond Russell, clocks in at 126 minutes and could have used some serious trimming, especially of the bloated fantasy sequences and the painfully drawn-out conclusion, which finally dissolves into mawkishness. It's a pity, because the cast is impressive—Harper, Rae Dawn Chong, and Billy Dee Williams all turn in particularly good performances. (Reece Pendleton) Note: This film has been recut to its present length of 107 minutes.

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