Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Acts Of Violence

It seems a little off to review, and hopefully share, a film with a bunch of readers who will never see it. But then again, how many of you have seen anything based upon something I had to say about it anyway. (Except maybe... Brian?)

I've wondered this a few times.

A half-hearted attempt to discover what others had to say have left a goose egg. Seems nobody has seen it, or was bothered to write about it.
Imagine that...
A film that has won awards at three festivals... and nobody has anything???

Flyn (Il Lim) is an Asian-American doctor married to the brutally raped Olivia (Leelee Sobiesky).
One by one, he hunts down those responsible, kidnaps them to his secret warehouse place, and brutally kills them using his martial arts expertise. After brutalizing them, of course. It's a beautiful thing. It really is.

In between the acts of violence, the movie takes you on a journey through his relationship with Olivia. Olivia doesn't know what he's up to. He lies, he hides it, he always leaving the home and not coming back for several hours, making up some bullshit excuse about getting lost or something.
She's not totally buying it, but is at a loss to help him.
She urges him to seek help. Things haven't been the same between them since 'the incident', but their love, sweetness and devotion is obvious.
Seemingly, she's managed to put it behind her. She's moved on.
He can not.

And so it goes.
Another killing.
Another trip home.
Another tortuous dialogue between the lovers.

And this is the most aggravating part of the film: the dialogue. It's distant. It's connecting, but not connecting, at the same time.

I'm wondering: who the hell wrote this damn thing?

The fight scenes are cool; all wrapped around a topic I can get behind: blood vengeance. Alone, this would have been a typical fight flick. Mediocre, yeah, but who sees fight flicks for the superb dialogue anyway?
Instead, it runs deeper than that.
Something is off. Flyn is too emotionally removed from his actions. There isn't that snarling anger in the face of the enemy. Instead, he's cool. Calculated. Matter of fact.
He chats briefly with his victim, and then calmly says "I'm going to kill you now".
He's almost not there.

There are a few plot holes. Like, how did he get a surveillance tape copy of his wife's kidnapping, yet the cops weren't able to identify anybody involved?
Other than that, it all comes together in the last 10 minutes, in a way that I didn't expect.

This is Il Lim's first film, co-written and co-produced with Leelee Sobiesky. He also directs.
I've never heard of him before. I'm assuming he's some sort of super extreme martial arts type dude. He's got great moves.

This is a good movie. Not a great one, but very good. I'd place it next to 'A Girl In A Swing' from way back in the mid-80's. It was similar in the way much of what you saw didn't make sense til you got to the end.(Sorry, I know damn well none of you have seen that one.)


RW said...

Well strangely enough I would actually like the guy detatched from his killingness - that sort of lends a certain something to it, like Clint Eastwood kinda, only more sociopathic.

It isn't I am ignoring the suggestion, it's just the last movie I saw in a theatre was years ago, to be honest. And there's no way I'm going to pull MrsRW away from her farm to see this...

Gino said...

your taste in movies is far different than mine, anyway.

and the last time the wife and i saw a movie together, we were dating, and it was some julia roberts thing. (forgive me for that. we were dating.)