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In Rome, after the abduction of a British tourist, the police inspector Anna Mari is contacted by the criminal, who self-entitles The Card Player, challenging the police department to dispute a video poker with him where the prize would be the life of the victim. The Chief of Police refuses to participate and the victim is tortured and killed in front of an Internet web cam. The British detective John Brennan is assigned to investigate the case and when another woman is kidnapped, they invite the addicted player Remo to play for the police. Anna and John lead the investigation trying to disclose who might be the serial-killer. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The role of the cop was intended for Mathieu Kassovitz but he withdrew when he was offered the chance to direct Gothika (2003). It was eventually given to Liam Cunningham and the name changed from John Russo to John Brennan. See more »
Flawed, Inconsistent and Disappointing for a Dario Argento's Movie
In Rome, after the abduction of a British tourist, the police inspector Anna Mari (Stefania Rocca) is contacted by the criminal, who self-entitles The Card Player, challenging the police department to dispute a video poker with him where the prize would be the life of the victim. The Chief of Police refuses to participate and the victim is tortured and killed in front of an internet web cam. The British detective John Brennan (Liam Cunningham) is assigned to investigate the case and when another woman is kidnapped, they invite the addicted player Remo (Silvio Muccino) to play for the police. Anna and John lead the investigation trying to disclose who might be the serial-killer.
In a condition of fan of Dario Argento, I am completely disappointed with "The Card Player". The screenplay is silly, full of clichés and plot holes, there are some terrible support actors and I do not understand why the DVD is dubbed in terrible English, without the option of the original language. The biggest holes are: (1) the motives for the serial-killer to torture, kill, play card and provoke the police are never explained, and the only justification that the murderer gives is that he loves Anna. (2) How could be a tape of the game, if the other player selects the card to hold and to discard? How could the maniac anticipate the movements and have the timing of the opponent? Sorry, but it is impossible and not feasible. The gorgeous Stefania Rocca and Liam Cunningham have good performance, but unfortunately Dario Argento was careless and lazy with his story and script. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Jogador Misterioso" ("Mysterious Player")
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