Video Review

The Substitute (1994)

MPAA Rating: R

Details Movie Rated: R; Genre: Mystery and Thriller; With: Amanda Donohoe and Mark Wahlberg

After torching her home (whilst her philandering husband and his teenage lover are still in it — how kinky), teacher Amanda Donohoe goes incognito to another job. Her vibrant pedagogical techniques earn the love and respect of a once-unruly class — but then the elderly teacher she's filling in for decides not to retire, thus forcing Donohoe to kill again. Of course, once you start, it's so hard to stop. The Substitute could have been a nice little thriller, but the sluggish direction sinks it; not even the on-screen demise of Marky Mark, which by all accounts should have you cheering from the sofa, is very gratifying. You can tell that the screenwriter was bored stiff with this job: She names a character Ellington and then has someone advise her to visit a bar called the A-Train. Ar, Ar, Ar. D

Originally posted Feb 11, 1994 Published in issue #209 Feb 11, 1994 Order article reprints

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