Jude Law is a naturally likable presence, so when he plays a villain, it’s a real treat. Crime thriller by Sam Mendes in 2008 “Road to Perdition,” inspired by DC graphic novel of the same name, is an unusual film that features a cast of acclaimed performers acting outside of the types of characters they usually play. The avuncular Tom Hanks is rarely portrayed as a violent man. However, in “Road to Perdition”, he plays Tommy Sullivan, a mobster who tries to escape his past by leaving the mafia to go on a road trip with his son, Tommy Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin). Law gives one of the most surprising performances in the film. His character Harlen Maguire does not reveal his villainous intent at first, but as the film progresses his idiosyncrasies become menacing.
Maguire is a photographer obsessed with death, and there is a disconcerting side to his meticulous nature. Fascinated by corpses and their artistic value, he likes to reconstruct crime scenes to experience these violent moments. He is first introduced as a somewhat friendly but peculiar outsider to the Sullivans. Yet his initial fascination with the father-son duo becomes more sinister. “Road to Perdition” is certainly a film with plenty of surprising moments, but Law’s twist in the film’s climax is one of the most shocking. This devastating film gains in realism thanks to its captivating work.