The problem with this dark, unsettling film is that director Jon Polson fails to provoke any empathy with either of these characters.
Tenderness is all about pain. It’s quite obvious – it’s constantly reiterated by the narrator. Subtle it isn’t. A rotund Russell Crowe plays Detective Cristofuoro, who has been assigned to the case of Eric (Jon Foster), a boy recently released from juvenile detention after murdering his parents.
Cristofuoro believes that Eric will kill again and follows him obsessively. Enter Lori (Sophie Traub), a disturbed teenage girl who is infatuated with Eric and stows away in his car. As the film develops, Eric’s murderous urges become evident despite his growing attachment to Lori.
But the problem with this dark, unsettling film is that director Jon Polson fails to provoke any empathy with either of these characters. The plot veers from predictability to inexplicability until no amount of clever-clever writing can make you care who kills whom.