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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

"Prison Break: The Final Break": We Deserve Better

Over the weekend, I finally saw “Prison Break: The Final Break,” the movie which fills in the gap before the five-year time jump in the series finale of “Prison Break.”

I was hoping that I would see something that would justify the show killing Michael. Something that would show that the writers had some master plan.

But if you’ve already seen it, you know I didn’t see either one of those things. But what I did see was a pathetic excuse for a finale that will forever mar what was once a clever, original drama.

Yeah, it’s that bad…

Which is probably why this didn’t air on FOX. And probably why the DVD has no commentary or behind-the-scenes features. Not even the people who made it can justify this mess…

The movie starts out on a good note as we see Michael and Sara finally tying the knot. But their happiness is short lived as the FBI arrests Sara for the murder of Michael’s mother. Because of jail overcrowding, Sara is taken to a maximum security prison. And after the FBI decides to throw the book at her, Michael realizes the only way to save her and their unborn child is to break her out.

Warning: If you’d prefer not to know any further details, stop reading now.

Apparently, the writers were a little nostalgic for the prison days of season one, as thy brought back all that creepy stuff, only with women. But since we’d already seen it, it was more pathetic than shocking. And Lori Petty’s Daddy is no T-Bag—mainly because Petty is no Robert Knepper.

Speaking of T-Bag, he is there as well because he and The General just happen to be right next door in the men’s prison. That’s a disbelief suspender for sure, but it’s worth it just to see Knepper again. As usual, he’s the best thing going here.

Not that everyone else doesn’t give it their all. Sarah Wayne Callies makes the best out of a bad situation as she’s beaten up for no real reason, ogled by creepy women and branded as a member of a prison “family.”

Wentworth Miller (Michael) is so strong he actually made me tear up a little and William Fichtner manages to make Mahone seem worth watching even though his flip-flopping between good and bad is a little ridiculous. Plus, there’s solid support from two great guest stars—Amy Aquino as the warden and Chris Bruno as FBI Agent Whatley.

Unfortunately, though, it appears the writers and the director just phoned it in. That becomes incredibly evident during the sequence where Michael sacrifices himself to save Sara…

In order for Sara to escape, Michael must connect some wires to open a door—an action that causes an explosion that kills him. As I watched the scene, I tried to think about how I would react if I didn’t already know the outcome. I have to believe I would be shocked just because it was the death of the main character. But then I would have reacted exactly the way I did—with a huge “Are you kidding me?”

There was just no drama in the scene—not nearly as much drama as you would expect from the death of the main character. Not to mention that there was not enough attention paid to the possibility that Michael was dying anyway to make it work.

I REALLY hope FOX learned its lesson about letting a show kill its main character in the end…

I did tear up a little during Michael’s goodbye video for Lincoln and Sara, but that quickly passed when the movie lamely ended with the video shutting off after Michael declared “We’re all finally free.” I actually said out loud, “That’s it?”

Sadly, the answer was yes, it was…

It’s bad enough that “Break” killed Michael, but to do it in such a lame fashion?

I think the final break is actually the breaking of the hearts of “Break” fans everywhere…

“Prison Break: The Final Break” is available on DVD now…

Photo Credit: FOX Home Entertainment