Monday, March 15, 2010

Stiletto (2008)

Those of you who know me have heard me talk about this film before so bare with me as I do it again. Those that haven't heard me talk about this film before listen as I ramble on.

This is a wickedly violent revenge drama with Tom Berenger as a Greek crime boss who, along with other people, is being hunted by a young Russian girl who used to be his mistress. The whys and who's of the affair take the full running time to unravel so I won't say more than that.

What I will say is that this is a mean and nasty film with violence exploding usually in ways we least expect it, in a manner that is really in your face. This is a movie that makes you frequently sit up and go "whoa" (think about the opening sequence where Tom Berringer is attacked).

I can't believe that this film has stayed under the radar. I stumbled upon entirely by accident. It was one of those times when I put on a movie expecting it to be terrible and instead found myself pleasantly surprised.

Well stocked with a fantastic cast of character actors (William Forsythe, Michael Beihn, James Russo, Tom Sizemore among others) this is as solid a "B" crime film as I've seen recently (and I mean B as in the classic definition of a B film, the sort that was carefully crafted to play on a double feature, that was made with care and not just thrown together).

If there is any real flaw, or if there is going to be any point that may trouble some viewers it's that the film is very complex, or at least it doesn't reveal anything until the stand in for the audience, the cop working for Berenger, finds anything out. This makes for several scenes that seem like they are coming from left field, when in reality they are not, after all we don't know what something means until we look at them in retrospect. (I'm also sure that the end will leave some people annoyed, but I'm not one of them, I think it works).

Currently available on on DVD this is the sort of film that you're probably going to pass over when you see it on the shelf at your video store. Don't do it because its really worth a look not to mention a bucket of popcorn and a soda, especially if you want a dark little crime film to "brighten" up their evening.

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