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Detective Jack Grimaldi (Gary Oldman) takes us through his shattered life after encountering the most deadly (and deceptive) criminal he has ever had to deal with. It doesn't help that Grimladi is playing both sides against the middle. When he encounters Demarkov (Lena Olin) he thinks he can play her as he has all the other women in his life...including his wife. But Demarkov knows Jack better than he knows himself. She plays him mercilessly, all the while threatening to kill him when she tires of the game. Written by
Probably everyone has one favorite movie that they consider "their own" because few, if any, of their friends share their admiration for it. Mine is this one. I just love this film.
It is only one out of over 5,000 movies have either rented or purchased that I watched back-to-back nights after seeing it for the first time. A dozen viewings later, It's still just as good, if not better. It is, start-to-finish, the most entertaining crime movie I have ever watched.
Being of fan of film noir, those wonderfully-narrated crime films of the '40s and '50s, Romeo Is Bleeding is right up my alley. I may be wrong but believe this whole film is simply a parody of the film noirs: an outrageous take on those movies with an over-the-top villain (Lena Olin, the most fascinating female I have ever come across on film), along with over-the-top characters, action scenes, dialog and narration. It's a wild, fun - albeit sick - ride, not to be taken seriously (which a lot of people did and then thought it was too goofy). Evidence of this film-noir spoof is in the dialog, with a number of fantastic dark-humor lines, many delivered by Olin. One has to see this a number of times to catch all the humor in here. Kudos to screenplay writer Hilary Henkin for her work.
Oldman is superb and its the glue that holds this unique story in tact. His narration, including the exaggerated inflection in his voice, is fantastic. I appreciate the American accent this British actor used, too. Olin, as Russian hit- woman Mona Demarkoff, she is one character I guarantee you will not ever forget. Roy Scheider, Annabella Sciorra, Juliette Lewis, Michael Wincott and others - cameos by Dennis Farina and Ron Perlman - all deliver great performances with lines that, well,....as I said, are outrageous.
If you love the old film noirs, please check this movie out and remember it's tongue-and-cheek.
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