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Toxic
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Reviews & Ratings for
Toxic More at IMDbPro »

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29 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Incoherent Unwatchable Junk

1/10
Author: Bill357 from United States
16 June 2009

The description on the back of the DVD box is a bold faced lie! This is not a high octane thriller. It's about as high octane as tap water and about as thrilling as watching paint dry. There's no murderous rampage by a beautiful mental patient either. The character they are referring to spends the entire movie doing next to nothing.

The only good thing I have to say about Toxic is that I enjoyed the color scheme and lighting. Everything else about it is bad.

The director (apparently from the Quentin Tarantino school of film) is entirely too busy showing off to actually entertain his audience, replacing storytelling and plot with silly camera moves and script contrivances.

Speaking of story and plot, there hardly isn't any worth mentioning, just too many characters (some of which are pointless) doing lots of mundane things centered around a sleazy strip club.

The cast consists of a bunch of wasted cameos by various character actors and at least one each of rapper and porn star, who's collective performances are about as memorable as your first birthday.

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22 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

A film that's worth a watch, especially if you like a twist at the end.

5/10
Author: msw_rdc from United Kingdom
21 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before watching this movie I knew nothing really about it. Having watched it, it's hard to describe what kind of film it really is. The best I can come up with is it's got elements of Pulp Fictions interlocking stories and John Cusack's film "identity" mixed into one very stylish looking but to me confusing film.

The one part of the story revolves around a mob boss looking for his psychotic daughter who has just escaped from a mental institution. He gets two of his men to search the streets for her. The other part revolves around a strip club named "toxic" and the bar tender Sid.

To me to make interlocking stories that work, both of them have to be interesting to watch. The story concentrating on looking for the mob bosses daughter moved along nicely with great performances all round especially from Danny Trejo. While on the other hand the Toxic strip bar storyline line moved along so slowly, I would have lost interest if it had not been for the consent switching between the two stories.

I now come to the twist ending and I have to say while I got the basic idea, a lot of things just didn't fit right. When you do an ending like this film has, I like the film to make total sense. Not one that leaves you questioning characters actions.

Anyway this might be one of those films you might have to watch a couple of times to really get it.

I gave it a 5 because it's never really bad or really good. It's just hour and a half of standard entertainment. I think it's worth a watch.

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19 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Toxic is a mess

2/10
Author: tomasdiaz from United States
10 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Toxic was difficult to watch. Director Alan Pao loaded this one with special effects and jump cuts on too many scenes. In one part a janitor is mopping then the picture splits into an effect that makes it look there are 5 janitors with mops. It got more messy during action scenes. Someone went completely effect happy.

It was to bad because the cast included Danny Trejo with Tom Sizemore. Two of my favorite character actors. After 20 minutes the effects were too much to bare. I used the menu to check out scenes later in the film to see if the effects stopped. They did not. I turned it off.

Every one has different film tastes. For me this was a visual mess. It could be compared to being on a mushroom trip with the look of the picture. I can't recommend this one.

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Treacherous perceptions

6/10
Author: infinajt from Finland
3 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Alan Pao's Toxic is a pack punching, visually stylished yet highly unoriginal thriller that is nonetheless an enjoyable way to spend a rainy evening, even if it somewhat fails in delivering the main catch of the plot. Instead we are treated some slightly bizarre looking violence and (undeniably beautiful) half-naked women, but in both cases you can somehow feel that the director didn't go as far as it would have been necessary to show the dark side of the story and how hard it is to tell what is real in this abyss.

When a movie wants to mix a mind-boggling mystery, some half-serious shoot-em-up hit-man-action, the dirty businesses of the underworld, couple of spooks in the footsteps of the Japanese horror movies, some truly Lynchian imagery and a surprisingly effective psychological thriller, you might expect a mess. Luckily, Toxic never really falls apart or stumbles in this aspect. The narrative is semi-incoherent, jumping between times and places, but once you get the different levels, it's simple to follow. Maybe even too simple.

It's a shame that the style-over-substance approach in shooting and editing is mostly there to please the MTV-generation. The crazy camera, hostile towards epileptics, is mostly out of place - even as the madness of the character(s) is slowly revealed and reality is played with, it never feels appropriate, more like a camera that would work in a movie about drug-induced hallucinations. The main actors are mostly nobodies and it shows: they don't get how multilayered their characters are or how to show it. Sizemore doesn't get it either, but he's a good thug, has always been. Swain is underused, and the tragedy of her character never really has time to touch you. The rest, including Danny Trejo, Bai Ling and Costas Mandylor, play their regular roles. You know, the ones they always do. Routine.

The biggest problem, however, is the fact that there is nothing here that hasn't been done better somewhere else. In some cases, to death. So it becomes trite. Even the twist-you-didn't-see-comin' is only a slightly altered version of some of the classic twists combined. But it IS done well enough, it IS mostly logical and you don't feel like you've been cheated (like I felt after I saw 'The Sixth Sense' the second time). Little things along the way start making sense. You might actually consider watching it again, to catch all the hints. But you probably won't, because let's face it, the trip just wasn't that interesting.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

underrated and misunderstood

8/10
Author: NateWatchesCoolMovies from Canada
11 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

it saddens me that this visually stylish, unique and adrenaline fueled flick gets so little recognition and respect. Admittedly the plot could have been a bit more rounded and ironed out, and the amount of characters running around could have been reduced a little to avoid confusion, but I feel there is still a lot of merit and enjoyment to be found in this little flick.

The story is actually two separate stories, threaded to each other via one of the central characters, who is not what they seem. The beginning of the second story starts where the first one left off, they have just chosen to show them happening simultaneously, which does become a bit muddled sometimes, but you just have to keep track of what characters exist in what storyline and it will be all clear.

The narrative has a complex psychological revelation in the end that some ignorant, ADD-ridden fools around here have labeled as ''incoherent and unwatchable''. Get real or go back to your summer cardboard cutout blockbusters , guys. God forbid you should have to use your reasoning and creative thinking skills to decipher an enigmatic plot line for yourselves.

The acting is mostly great, except for the blow the film suffers from Cory Large, who is seriously lacking in that department and it really shows unfortunately. Costas Mandylor, Danny Trejo, Tom Sizemore, Susan Ward, Charity Shea, Paul Johanssen, are all excellent, and look out for cameos from Nick Chinlund, Ron Jeremy, C. Thomas Howell, Lochlyn Munro, Steven Bauer, and more.

All in all a very good movie with some unique ideas, stark, psychological images and a reputation that is unfair to it to say the least. see it!

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