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Under the City (2004)

 -  Crime | Thriller  -  2005 (Australia)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 27 users  
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Follows the attempted redemption of Nate Mayott, a semi-reformed, thirty year-old, ex-con with a dark past trying to rebuild his family and maintain his freedom who is thrust into the ... See full summary »

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Title: Under the City (2004)

Under the City (2004) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nathan Rusk ...
Seeking Boy
...
Nate
Kristina Hunt ...
Lauren
...
Ed Dandos
...
Minks
Bernie Landis ...
Pool Mayott
Maury Cooper ...
Sid
Diane Dorsey ...
Administrator
...
Reggie
Libya Pugh ...
Nurse
Ronnel Taylor ...
Mitch
...
Lola Mayott
Shana Goodsell ...
Kathleen Mayott
Mark Montgomery ...
Drizzac
D.J. Howard ...
Frank
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Storyline

Follows the attempted redemption of Nate Mayott, a semi-reformed, thirty year-old, ex-con with a dark past trying to rebuild his family and maintain his freedom who is thrust into the violent underworld of the Chicago sex trade- where anything can be bought or sold if the price is right and the demand is there. Which it is. Piece by piece, Nate sells his soul for freedom until he is finally backed into an impossible corner and must kidnap an innocent little girl in order to save his own. Under The City's central focus is love, self-realization and the frightening prospect that the vulnerability needed to fall in love can be more terrifying than facing a loaded gun, and how the desire to have a "normal life", for some, is pure fantasy. Written by Adam Golomb

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Genres:

Crime | Thriller

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2005 (Australia)  »

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$60,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
Riveting. Almost perfect
23 February 2007 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

There is almost nothing about this movie that stamps it as a low-budget film. The acting was truly dead on, there were known actors in it, and the cinematography was gritty and realistic.

Plot: Nate is an ex-con working for loan sharks and bookies who gets in too deep. He is offered a job as a go-between at an upscale bar, summoning callgirls for impatient patrons. The folks hiring him are crooked cops.

He keeps being nudged deeper and deeper into the world of illicit sex, helping to cover up dead hookers, and transport underage girls for porn shoots.

However, when he is told in no uncertain terms that if he does not help kidnap a small girl for a wealthy client, his own daughter will be the "merchandise", he is pushed too far. He shoots the other kidnappers, rescues the girl, and against all odds, manages to get back to his daughter to save her.

Throughout, Nate is played as a regular guy - separated from his wife, but still loves his kid; falls for a waitress at the bar he works out of and tries to help her when it looks like she's in trouble; and agonizes over some of the revolting yet alluring things he's being pushed into doing.

While based on a true story, the tone and atmosphere of the film remind me a lot of Hardcore (with George C. Scott). In fact, I came away from this film with much the same unsettled feeling I got from that one - a major element of which is the disturbing sense that by standing by and watching the acts portrayed (even though, unlike Nate, we are not watching "reality"), you are somehow condoning them. It's a really weird sensation. Like you can't possibly enjoy the film itself without admitting you enjoy the creepy porn it's opening a window on.

Please understand, this is not a negative statement! Any movie that can bring out such strong feelings is a powerful film, indeed.

The only thing I found felt wrong was a much too happy closing scene, which my friends and fully expected Nate to wake up from. I don't know whether the director wanted to give the audience some catharsis and send them home happy or what, but it was too jarring a change in tone. I would rather have had the film end more bleakly in the hospital.


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