|Index||6 reviews in total|
I may be cynical, but sometimes I look at my collection and see 50 copies
the same movie. Explosions, love interest, conservative "twist" ending,
cut! Revolver may be just as derivative of 1970's flicks as the
fests of the 21st century are today, but for some reason it was
to watch. I can't see anyone lavishing "rabid fanboy" praise on it, but
Revolver was enjoyable, moving at times, and had two great performances.
you thirst for a change of pace, but want to retain the comfortable
standbys of guns and violence, Revolver may be right up your alley. The
fantastic extras don't hurt either.
I've never seen a movie quite like this. The best descriptor I can muster is "spaghetti thriller". It's a seventies crime drama with a bit of Dirty Harry, a helping of Reservoir Dogs, a few drops of eau de western, a scoop of melodrama, and a dash of political commentary. Though it oscillates between boredom and epic, Revolver delivers the kind of entertainment that today's movies can only parody. If you buy into the characters, you'll be treated to a satisfying drama. If modern sensibilities prevent that, you can at least enjoy the campier aspects (bad lip synch, fur coats) and delight in the commanding score. The score alone is worth it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Vito Cipriani (the late great, Oliver Reed) arrives home to make love
to his wife afterwards he gets called to quell a prison disturbance. He
does, but upon returning home he finds his wife missing. He receives a
call ordering him to release a small time crook if he wants his wife
back alive. He does, only to kidnap the crook to assure that he gets
his wife back.The only other film I saw of Director Sergio Sollima was
"Run, Man, Run" which I enjoyed immensely, and I'm glad to say that I
enjoyed this one as well. Oliver Reed is good in it, lots of action,
and it's a pretty tight thriller. It didn't hurt that I didn't see the
ending coming, that's very rare, so it's always a welcome surprise.
My Grade: B
Blue Underground DVD Extras: a 14 minute spoiler heavy featurette; Poster and stills gallery; Talent Bios; 2 radio spots; and both the international and USA Theatrical trailers
If you are a fan of Sergio Sollima then I don't have to tell you that you
this film. I am so glad that I have discovered Italian action films from the
and 1970s. I only wish that I could see some of these films on the big
There is something special about these films.
Revolver takes the viewer on a sort of chase. There is elements of mystery and action, but during the course of the film the relationship between the two
characters, played by Oliver Reed and Fabio Testi, evolves in a way that brings in drama into the story. Like Sollima's other films, there is fast paced action, violence, and a little bit of sex.
There is a gray area between who is good and bad, and that is something
Sollima has stated in interviews. In fact he has said that he has always been a fan of bad guys because sometimes the good guys mess things up more in the
end then the bad guys. He shows that in Revolver.
I'm a big fan of Italian crime flicks, but it has to be said that a lot
of them are rather similar. That's not the case with Revolver however!
Some of these films go off on a bit of a tangent and while in keeping
with the elements that make this sort of film what it is (car chases,
shootouts etc) deliver something more than the average cop flick, and
these are the best of the genre; films such as Almost Human, Street Law
and this film. Revolver benefits from a strong plot, two strong leading
men and the fact that the film actually has a point to make. The plot
focuses on Vito Cipriani; a prison warden and former police officer who
finds himself with a choice to make when he is told by criminals that
his wife has been kidnapped and the only way he can get her back is to
spring crook Milo Ruiz from jail and make the exchange for his wife.
Vito is not happy just to take the criminal's word for it, however, and
so decides to kidnap the criminal himself before the exchange is made.
It also soon becomes apparent that the criminal's aren't playing
straight, which leads to an unlikely combination of prisoner and prison
warden on the hunt for the warden's wife.
Oliver Reed takes the lead role, and I have to say that he should have made more Italian crime flicks! His performance is typically over the top, though he looks completely at home chewing the scenery and swearing his head off, and it's a joy to watch too. Esteemed Polizi star Fabio Testi stars opposite and is the polar opposite of Oliver Reed, which ensures that they make a fascinating pairing on screen. The plot moves at a brisk pace throughout and it never veers very far off course, which is a bonus if you ask me considering how these films often do. There are a few moments where it does slow down a bit too much, and Revolver is just slightly overlong; but as I said, it doesn't get boring so it's not too big a problem. There's less action in this film than the average Polizi flick, but we do still get a couple of decent car chases and there's a fair bit of gunplay too. Oliver Reed's performance really makes up for that anyway, however; the man himself has more impact than any amount of cars and bullets! Perhaps the best thing about this film is the point it has to make; I don't expect much more than entertainment from a Polizi flick, so getting that little bit extra is a nice bonus. Overall, this is certainly one of the better of examples of this genre and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to my fellow Polizi fans.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The premise had so much promise: of a government official, Oliver Reed,
who surreptitiously allows a prisoner to escape and quickly abducts him
as exchange for his kidnapped wife.
While there are a few great moments, some involving the convict, Fabio Testi, showing gruff and glum Reed (described as "a dog without a home") the ways of thiefdom, which should have been more of the film, the side characters, like a popular folk musician oddly connected to the bad guys, and long bouts of plodding (badly looped) dialog, muddle the lean storyline.
Reed, with a scowling catfish countenance, is more than watchable, while Testi's much too pretty as a believable challenger. Although their ultimate camaraderie, which builds throughout, does seem genuine and works for the poignant climax.
Iconic composer Ennio Morricone, known for his usually intense Spaghetti-Western soundtracks, evokes a flowery, era-dated score more befitting a frolicking light comedy.
I had long wanted to catch this poliziottesco (which has never turned
up on Italian TV) but was ultimately rather let down by it: the plot
involves a buddy buddy partnership between two unlikely characters –
prison warden Oliver Reed and petty criminal Fabio Testi. Director
Sollima had already made the superior THE BIG GUNDOWN (1966) on similar
lines (the “Cult Movie” website claims this is a remake of it but I
don’t buy that, as the narrative takes a wholly different direction).
The film, however, isn’t quite as engrossing as it should be and rather muddled into the bargain – but, at least, it looks good and is undeniably bolstered by a beautiful and typically effective Ennio Morricone score (reminiscent of his work, much later, on THE UNTOUCHABLES !). Reed is an ideally sturdy yet world-weary hero – but Testi is just okay in the role of his quarry/associate (though the English dubbing may have undermined his original performance), especially as he displays little of the cunning and deadly prowess which had characterized the Tomas Milian counterpart in THE BIG GUNDOWN…and, in any case, he’s ultimately established to have been merely a pawn in the game being waged! The female cast is comprised of lovely Agostina Belli (as Reed’s young wife, who’s kidnapped so as to ensure his collaboration) and Paola Pitagora (somewhat wasted as an underworld ‘groupie’ who briefly hooks up with Testi).
Even if the film doesn’t have the socio-political scope of THE BIG GUNDOWN, this element is belatedly introduced towards the end – leading to a curiously downbeat (and cynical) finale. While not plentiful, the action sequences are certainly as efficiently handled as any in this type of film (Sollima made at least one more poliziottesco – VIOLENT CITY , which I’ll be getting to soon); still, the director seems less at ease within the ‘urban jungle’ landscape than he was in the wide-open spaces provided by the Spaghetti Western milieu.
The main supplement on the Blue Underground DVD is a 13-minute featurette consisting of separate interviews with Sollima and Testi. Among other things, the former admits to having been roped in at the last minute and claims that he finally agreed to make it on detecting connotations with another Spaghetti Western of his – FACE TO FACE (1967). Testi, a regular of action movies, takes pride in having done most of his own stunts (in fact, he had started out in films in this field!). Both, then, have complimentary things to say about the late Oliver Reed. There are also two Easter Eggs – one in which Sollima criticizes the film’s half-hearted publicity campaign (which he blames for its lack of box-office success), while the other is yet another anecdote pertaining to the film’s notoriously hell-raising British star.
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