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Clement Moloch is a doctor but instead of using his skills to heal; he uses them to torture. He works for governments including the U.S. who wants insurgents dealt with. Now several of his victims want him dead and after several attempts fail. Holland, a retried killer for hire, is informed of the death of an old friend who was trying to kill Moloch. Holland initially stating that he is retired doesn't take the job. But he changes his mind. He asks for woman and a child to accompany him so that he could appear to be a family man. And the woman who goes with him is the wife of his friend, who brings her daughter along. When Holland arrives he notices that Moloch is heavily protected so he starts by taking out his people. Written by
In recent times I've been watching the collaborations between director J. Lee Thompson and actor Charles Bronson with pretty decent results. "The Evil that Men Do" was somewhat an interesting, and cynically effective little shocker. From the very beginning you realise this gritty b-grade fodder is looking to simply shock you with its sadistic subject of torture for political ground, and the hidden acceptance of it in the governments that makes Maher's pitiless character believe his actions of the trade to be far from evil. The material stays powerful, scathing and covered with moral questioning. It's always seems to be about retribution, and finding it in themselves to take that next step. Even when it isn't visually hard-hitting, the despairing oral context can get under your skin. Strictly the tone and style Thompson opts for is unpleasant, rough and ice-cold.
I was engrossed, but then the formula (but still packing an excessive sting) changed to a by-the-numbers revenge spin and an unconvincingly irate Theresa Saldana floods the screen. I just didn't buy her, and the chemistry with Bronson felt weak. Joseph Maher easy performance drips with a strangely subtle intensity of callousness that's purely evil. He's not some demanding, towering presence but those vile sadistic acts, and unflinching cruelty comes second nature for this character, that just listening to his softly spoken voice is very uneasy. Charles Bronson's calculated, stalwart and quite mystique turn is hard to switch off because he makes this character an all-out professional killer with a more humane view of things, and managing to keep his self-righteousness intact.
Thompson's raw, tactical direction utilises the low-budget, and working in its favour is the grimy, fade-out look from the authentically seedy urban consolidations to the sparse desert locations. A harrowing music score by Ken Thorne has a slight and edgy tinge, and Javier Ruvalcaba Cruz's tight, voyeuristic cinematography hit's the mark. When called upon the tension stays hard-boiled, and some scenes pack an abrasive bite as the meaningful violence is highly explicit and explosive. However it's not an all-out torture parade full of senseless snapshots. Antoinette Bower, Jose Ferrer and Max Ortiz offer strong support.
Rather a effortless manner by all, but certainly it does the daring job it sets out to do.
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