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Colette is an attractive ex-CIA agent seeking revenge against a ruthless villan and his organization of trained assasins for the murder of her husband while the man is also after mobster Frank Di Vinci for his own personal reasons. It isn't long before the paths of both Colette and Frank meet whom they share the same vendetta against the same man and they reluctnaly try to co-operate with each other to bring him down. Written by
Can former Playboy Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith act? Who says that she can? Is Anna Nicole Smith appealing? That would be a definite yes. She is an absolute knockout. As a thriller though, TO THE LIMIT is ludicrous with a plot that just does not make sense. The concept at first sounds promising, but the movie's plot is just overwhelming with too many perfunctory twists and turns that are never fully explained. The connoisseur of mindless movies may feel very alienated by this film's overly sophisticated plot. Anyway, with that said, TO THE LIMIT is bearable. Thanks to the electrifying presence of Anna Nicole Smith, TO THE LIMIT is (barely) endurable. Despite the fact that Anna Nicole Smith is an inept and terrible actress (I'm not meant to be scathing, she does try.), she has done her best in this movie.
Well, the story (You are probably saying, "You mean to tell me that there is actually a REAL plot?!") concerns Frank Da Vinci (Joey Travolta, shameful brother of John Travolta), a proficient hitman and Vietnam Veteran who tries to escape from his violent past. His attempts at both marriage and starting a new life over have dramatically ended in an unnecessary and senseless massacre. His future bride is gunned down, several of his friends are murdered...and Da Vinci himself has barely escaped death...
Then Colette (Anna Nicole Smith), a femme fatale with her own modus operandi, arrives at the scene of the crime. She has vowed revenge after her husband, China Smith (Michael Nouri in an embarrassing cameo) is killed by a car bomb. The lives of both Colette and Da Vinci intertwine and they inevitably develop an infatuation on each other. Their alliance has turned into a romance. I think we all know what that means!
Meanwhile, a boorish villain with tattoos all over his body wants a valuable item: a compact disk that contains some vital though egregious information about interesting stuff. This bad dude has attempted to assassinate Da Vinci...TWICE! Now, this villain is trying to exterminate several of Da Vinci's mob buddies including Philly (John Aprea) and Joey (David Proval).
The quest for the compact disk is in progress as Frank Da Vinci and Colette must retrieve this conundrum of an item before the evil forces do. However, Da Vinci learns that Colette also has a dark secret. Can she be trusted? Is she really Frank Da Vinci's ally, or a secret foe bent on retribution?
TO THE LIMIT is supposed to be a sequel to an earlier film titled DA VINCI'S WAR (1993). Though this picture, filmed ostensibly with a limited budget, is plagued with problems galore, I still found it to be pleasingly entertaining. The main attraction is of course Anna Nicole Smith. Yes, there are ample opportunities for her to expose herself uncensored in this film...and indeed, she takes advantage of all these chances she earns. TO THE LIMIT has its share of gratuitous sexual situations and unclothed females. As a bonus, the viewer is indulged in a number of scenes of our leading lady either in bed, in the shower, or taking a bath.
Moreover TO THE LIMIT, has enough slam-bang action in this movie to hold a B-movie lover's interest. The pyrotechnics are surprisingly good and the action proceeds at an apt pace. As well, there are some intelligent (though rather sportive) one-liners. The dialogue may be funny, but at least the cast does not remotely try to be too serious. Smith herself is a feisty person. She inspires to be hard-boiled, yet she still wants to retain her femininity. Anna Nicole Smith is kind of goofy, but that is what adds to her liveliness. She is one glorious lady.
Although the actors and actresses are not bad, considering that they are not expert thespians, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Anna Nicole Smith in particular needs to polish her acting. Sometimes, I have trouble discerning whether she is acting stern or sassy. Another of this film's shortcomings is its story-line. The convoluted plot about revenge, betrayal, dirty federal agents, and criminal masterminds is too complex for its own good. It's tough to follow, believe me! Some of the extraneous characters should have also been eliminated. Do not get discouraged though, this film is full of "eye candy" which compensates for a deficiency of logic.
TO THE LIMIT is perfect viewing for the undemanding, non-discriminating viewer who revels in these ultra *low-budget* action films. Sure, this movie is trash. Sure, you will feel guilty afterwards, but if you have always wanted to see your favorite Anna Nicole Smith portray a sexy heroic agent, then look no further.
I shall acknowledge the notion that the cast and crew have unexpectedly done their best in manufacturing both a workable plot and character development. I also guarantee that Anna Nicole Smith is certainly a visual asset. As long as there are the desired car chases (and crash and burns), the explosive shoot-outs, the beautifully seductive girls, and the high-risk stunts, why should there be a need to complain about the movie's amateurish style?
RATING: ** out of ****.
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