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'Revolver' DVD Review *** 091005
The Work = ***
Many filmmakers have commented that he was difficult to work with. I often got the sense that he had to be sort of wrangled into a strong performance. He was a heavy drinker and the later in the day he worked the more difficult he was to control. Here, he is playing the lead, a man of character, Vito Cipriani, who is the warden of a jail. He has a big reputation and is supposed to be a steadfast individual. I couldn’t help but think if he had switched roles with Testi the film might have benefited.
Testi plays Milo Ruiz a jailed thief of sorts who is sprung from jail for mysterious reasons. Watching him onscreen he had a real presence and I wondered why he has not had a larger film career. Perhaps he just kept getting typecast or it is just he has had a large film career outside of the states. Vito and Milo end up on the run together and are reluctantly forced to help each other. (How that happens I will leave a mystery.)
The pair criss cross the country as bodies pile up and their situation becomes more and more desperate. Probably the best action sequence comes when the two are ambushed by two groups of hitmen in broad daylight. They have to exchange fire with their pursuers in the middle of a populated street. For me this sequence was the climax and the remaining movements of the film were simply not as effective.
A word about the concluding moments of the film. I will not say what happens but will simply say that I felt it was anticlimactic. I did not object to what happens so much as I object the way it happens. (Stop reading here if you don’t want to know any more about the end but I will try to make it as vague as possible.) I don’t mind a dark conclusion or twist at the end if the A) the movie earns that ending or B) it fits with the rest of the movie. In 'Revolver' it seems almost as if the filmmakers just tried to shock the audience by making the ending very down beat. Considering the power of the Mafia in Italy the conclusion may have been a bit of a commentary on the heights and depth of the criminal organizations reach.
Still, there was enough in the film for me to enjoy it overall and recommend it. Fans of Reed and Testi will probably want to check this one out. There are good scenes and I can’t say the film was poorly made. If the ending had been reconstructed I would have been more satisfied. I still also think that Testi would have been better as the warden and Reed would have been a more wild thief.
DVD = ****
All Together = ***
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