Talk about mean and nasty, Samuel L. Jackson (“1408”) stars in a role that will give you nightmares and have you appreciating neighbors that mind their own business.
Jackson stars as Abel Turner, an LAPD police officer and single dad of two who takes it upon himself to safeguard his suburban neighborhood on a nightly basis. Those living in Lakeview Terrace welcome that kind of dedicated security, and applaud his untiring efforts. But they’ve never gotten on his bad side.
Kerry Washington (“Ray”) and Patrick Wilson (“Little Children”) star as a young, interracial couple who make the big mistake of moving next door to Turner. Chris and Lisa Mattson are thrilled to be owners of their first new home and anxious to get their lives neatly nestled in their new surroundings and get to know their new neighborhoods. When first meeting Turner, they believe they may be in line for that same sense of security that Turner offers his other neighbors. Boy, are they wrong.
Apparently Turner does not approve of their interracial relationship and when they freely demonstrate their love in plain sight of his young children Turner flips. In all fairness to the young couple, they were not aware of their transgressions and hoped that a heart felt apology would suffice, not in Turner’s book; it pushed him over the edge.
Jackson’s character is wound pretty tightly, he even describes the script as ‘intense’ because of the many angry confrontations, and the mind trips he’s forced to go on to bring the truly nastiness out of his character.
It’s equally chilling on Washington’s and Wilson’s parts. While in character they have to brace themselves for the anger, hate and whatever else he throws at them. They slowly watch as their dream home develops into a nightmare, never knowing when or where Turner is going to strike.
Their only recourse is to fight back. And this is where things get really dark. Turner’s surprised to learn that the Mattson’s are not ducking and running, knowing full well that standing up to him means standing up against the big blue machine. The film sends intensity to a whole new level.
Jackson is such a great actor that whatever his character does you stick by him. But in this film you just want to say, “calm down brother” especially when you feel a little bit guilty about how you quietly delight in his nastiness. He did have his moments.
Wilson’s character is an environmentalist, more accustomed to fighting the unfriendly eco-practices rather than neighbors who happen to carry a badge and a gun, but fight back he does.
“It sort of becomes not just a battle of the race issue, because that’s sort of been done over and over,” says Wilson, it’s more about what you do in the confines of your own home and how other people impact your values and traditions right to the very core.
It was great to see veteran TV actor Ron Glass in the film as the straight talking Harold Perreau. Glass perhaps is best known for his roles as Detective Ron Harris the in the ABC comedy “Barney Miller” which ran on the network from 1975 to 1982. Since then Glass has made a number of guest appearances on network series, and has been featured in a number of films and works as a director.
“Lakeview Terrace” is produced by Will Smith’s company Overbrook Entertainment.
Get ready for a thriller, “Lakeview Terrace” opens Friday.
– Gail Choice is a writer/producer/director and can be reached at gailchoice@strictlyhollywood.com.