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I saw this movie recently on bluray and I must say I was mightily impressed. Though I'm not usually a huge Thomas Jane fan,I must confess to be an aficionado of all things Ving Rhames. Frequently type cast as the heavy, it's expertly acted roles such as Ving's Boulder, than makes him the undisputed go to guy when you need a very scary henchmen/goon to strike fear in the hearts of audiences. Ving simply kicks ass in this noir thriller that's a tongue and cheek homage to the 40's style detective movies. Jane does a good job channeling his inner Humphrey Bogart and the action sequence are some of the best I've seen in a straight to bluray film in some time. I won't get into the particulars of the story, but I will say that the film is well acted for the most part(Jane obviously is having a good time in the role) and that there are a few plot surprises. Overall, you could do a lot worse than this with your Saturday evening.
I expected this to be my Christmas turkey - but it is actually pretty
darn good. The first 8 minutes (no spoiler intended) are excessive -
your granny might not like it - and overall the film is raw in places -
though not squirmingly so.
It is a good pastiche of the 40s film noir nothing too smart or dumb, some humor, with a psycho arsonist and the obligatory Japanese girl with knives, a high body count, a hardboiled hero, a femme fatale, a decent enough plot, and all in all the time went by very fast indeed.
All in all, an uber violent and cool attempt with comic book sensibilities that fans of Sin City, Shoot Em Up, Wanted, and The Tournament will lap up.
Lots of gory effects and nice idea about throwing them into ambient of
film-noir. That's about it for this movie.
As for acting, I only liked supporting actors French Stewart and Leland Orser (Frankie and Murphy) as rest of the cast was mediocre at the best. Never felt any spark between boring Elsa Pataky (Evelyn) and not-so-believable-as-unbuttoned-drunkard Thomas Jane (Malone). Malone does get a cool voice, that seems to be a standard for cinematography these days :)
Characters are cartoonish, we can see bits of Sin City in it, unfortunately they are clumsily developed and often over the top. World is mix of 50s and cell-phones, music is scarce but appropriate and pleasant. There are few fresh spots and lot more clichés and borrowed places. Too bad, with more creative freedom it could be fun flick.
Overall movie looks good, it just doesn't have good enough script. I doubt you could say who actually hired who to do what and why when you finish watching.
Former Detective and now freelance vigilante (for lack of a better
description) Malone (Jane) believes he was set up and he needs to find
out why the box everyone is trying to get is so important.
Watching this movie was like watching a comic book come to life. The dialogue, costumes, and cars from the 1940s made it so. I know many action movies are based on comic book super heroes, but this was going a bit too far and I almost shut it down. And, as far as I know there was no comic book based on the Malone character (I could be wrong about it, but .I'm just saying).
There is so much shooting and killing in the beginning, sleepy time was coming upon me. But, nothing else was on tap so I stayed with it. Actually, it was quite entertaining and not bad at all. Yes, the shootings and killings went on unabated, but there was a story in there too. Honest.
For those of you (and me too) who forgot who Thomas Jane is let me fill us all in. He is the Punisher in those other movies actually based upon The Punisher comic book. Well, he may as well have been the Punisher in this one too. But as he says, he is a hard one to kill and yet, he does take some pretty hard whacks, and gunshots too. But, not to worry his mother tends to his gunshot wounds.
This Malone character doesn't mess around and neither does Doug Hutchinson appropriately called Matchstick, who likes to light fires every place he goes to kill people. Ving Rhames is a mountain of a man and if I heard it right, his character, Boulder, used to work with Malone back in the day on the job (Police work). The only thing he is afraid of is the story he believes that Malone actually reached in and took the hearts out of the people who killed his whole family and ate the hearts. And, let's not forget Gregory Harrison (as Whitmore), from some medical TV show back in the day. Well, he's a meanie in here and likes to use a baseball bat.
This is non-stop action, shootings and killings,but there is a story in here. Honest. You just have to stay with it. Okay, some twists too.
A meaningless note: sometimes Thomas Jane sounds like James Arness You know from Gunsmoke back in the day.
Oh, one more thing. There is a note at the end of the movie that says: TO BE CONTINUED. Can't wait.
Violence: Yes. Sex: No. Nudity: Yes, a brief shot of Elsa Pataky in the shower. Language: Yes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first caught sight of this movie through a small article on a flick
site. The theme interested me, and Ving on the cast made me rent it.
James is not the best actor in the world, surely not as bad as his older lookalike, Lambert, but it's not fair to say he's not right for the part. I thought he was the only guy acting like the movie needed him to. I felt a lot of genre satire, and his apparent over-the-topping was precisely what I thought made Malone a pleasant character. Don't forget he did the amazing Stander in 2003, and worked great with Deborah Unger (now, she's something else...). Although he also did the pitiful Punisher.
As for Elsa... what a disappointment! Her Spanish- Italian accent makes the character sound like an amateur Pakistani singer trying to qualify for American Idol. Stupid accent, absurd acting... but a fine looking woman nonetheless. But in reality, the biggest casting mistake was here... a more skilled actress, or at least, one who had a proper believable accent perhaps. (I doubt an emigrant could be so eloquent and yet have such a weird accent, so that made her totally over the top).
Then, the "villain", Whitmore... never saw that actor before - that might not be a bad thing, though. But it was, he never felt dense, intense, or cruel... it's like he sounds like a detached and unrelated personage, someone who does not fit the movie. His output is the most evidently out of sync and the weakest of all, but I don't think this was a casting mistake - it's just bad writing and bad directing.
Then there's so many holes in the writing... when Matchstick holds the kerosene against Evelyn and stupid Malone doesn't shoot his ass. What could he do? Wet her full of kerosene?
I thought there was more attention given to the dialogs of Malone and Evelyn, and the speeches of Matchstick, that with any other character's discourse. Of course, Matchstick is annoying after 2 minutes into the film... his over-predictable and over-stereotyped infancy stories, his over-obsessed body language (the site does no allow me to use the proper scientific word for spacial body management) and his stubborn persistence throughout all the film kill the few moments of glory that Hutchison can provide for his faulty character.
Finally, the real great character... Frankie The Crooner, played by the hilarious French Stewart. I hadn't seen Stewart since his 3rd rock from the sun days. In this movie I got to hear him swear and play a pimp crooner wannabee. Loved his look, feel, output, delivery, all perfect. Too bad he's not cast more often.
Also the Stallone conspiracy: the car (1952 Chop Top Buick Straight 8) is the same as in Cobra, the mom is the same character idea as in "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot"... I see a Stallone pattern. I also agree that Matchstick is a timid attempt at recreating a villain as cunning and cruel as the Joker - the myth portrayed by the eternal Ledger, that Ving's Boulder is a rip off of Miller's Sin City character, Manute... and that the Mauler is the other Asian ninja hooker in Sin City, but she actually speaks (although poorly) in this flick. So a lot of this film is a collection of faulty rip-offs. Even the name Malone has been used countless times in this genre before!
Seriously, you need a writer? I'll script you right up!
Final words: it's a 5 for me. Because for all it's faulty downsides, it's actually a reasonably fun and funny film to watch, against all expectations. Something in it's imperfections makes it oddly unique, and almost so-bad-it's-good. There's something that came out OK in the end for me, but I can't really say what it was... maybe I was impressed by the first 3 minutes (the best part), and gave the rest a "discount". But I think it's the better part of the dialogs (as I hated the editing, too), I thought was funny, had verve and could keep me there, waiting for the next cheap and clever punch line. Or the cool car (rip-off, nonetheless), or the automatic revolver, or the way Malone was always half dead... or Pataki's swift nude scene. Well, I thought the movie had enough effort in it for me to deliberate and expose a supported opinion has a lover of all cinema, from mainstream to under-achieved.
There is much to like about Give 'em Hell Malone. It is a deliciously
gorgeous and entertaining comic book noir, which manages to be both
exiting and funny. This is the film that Sam Raimi's Darkman could've
been if it was a bit smarter.
The plot is a bit convoluted, but you end up not really caring. It is a fun ride, and is also the first time since Deep Blue Sea in which Thomas Jane has actually impressed me. On account of his lack of variety and charisma, Jane is only cut out for soft spoken/slick persona, individualist characters. Mr. Malone qualifies.
It should also be noted that Give 'em hell Malone is occasionally played for laughs. The script throws out a lot of one liners and a few quirks, which helps turn the smile on my face into a giggle. It ain't a terribly long movie, and by the end, you may find yourself exited for more. I guess the makers are exited too because Give 'em Hell Malone ends with a 'To Be Continued'
Hard to know if and when a second part will get the green light any time soon, but I would certainly embrace it. If you can find Give 'em hell Malone, you should check it out.
As a matter of fact, it's a typical specimen of comic noir style,
mixing traditional elements of ''Sin City'' and ''Dick Tracy'' films it
portrays black & sharp humored, seamless, vivacious and agile detective
story. In one breath, ''Give 'em Hell, Malone'' rapidly and
aesthetically carries spectator through the subtle nuances of swirling
plot, leaving pleasant impressions from what you've seen. Love, sharp
humor, betrayal, cruelty, selfishness. Everything presents here in good
Perfectly balanced characters like rollicking main hero Malone who's got two favorite things: drink and shoot. Sexy beauty Evelyn who trying' to avenge her killed brother. Big guy Boulder whose feelings wave between good and bad side. Charismatic evildoers such as Graceful Asian girl called Mauler who likes to play with sharp toys and Matchstick who always utters reckless wised expressions and crazy philosophy resembled Heath Ledger's character Joker from the Dark Knight movie.
Wonderfully made operator's work constantly absorbs attention. For only 15 000 000$ creators made a beautiful action that can compete to the dozens of high budgetary blockbusters. Astonishing result indeed. Yes, here we can find a lot of bugs and disadvantages in the script but it's not really a drawback of the film, there is no emphasis on a deep plot, everything is simple and ingenious, to keep you relaxing and funning. It's just a crazy and well stylized mess nothing more.
Even if you ain't got much grasp of noir, ''Give 'em Hell, Malone'' is a great movie for spending free time and taking some rest.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a big fan of film noir, The trailer grabbed my attention with some
pretty entertaining visuals and some intense music.
It took me about 25 minutes for my enthusiasm to dwindle. Once the feeling set in, I was unable to shake it off.
Credit where credit is due, Thomas Jane deserves a pat on the back. With roughly 80 percent of screen time, I'm glad to say that he has the least cringe worthy moments of the movie. The odds of his accomplishment were stacked against him, since he is given nothing more to play with than a character that is riddled with more cliché's than the body count he racks up through the film.
Very few other cast members came out of this with any dignity to their performances. Two that are worth mentioning are French Stewart, who plays a talentless club singer. The few scenes he has, are pure gold. The other performance that I thought had merit, came from Leland Orser. I have seen him a fair number of times playing less-than-stable parts and it was pleasing to know that he could play against the more colourful characters too.
It is important for me to make it clear that I don't think any actor/actress was to blame for the lack of entertainment in this movie. The script was poorly written. Malone can be summed up in three words.
Tough. Alcoholic. Vengeful These three things are hammered into the audience every minute from the establishing shot to the end credits.
The character of Evelyn was used to contain about,7 stereotypes of character and plot devices that you would associate with the film genre. It made it impossible for the actress to connect with the audience and by the end you feel nothing for her. No anger, no love, just nothing.
Again, the performance by Elsa Pataky gets two thumbs up for trying to play with the crap hand that she had been dealt. The problem comes from laziness in narrative structure.
That is the sentiment that I have taken from this film, that the puppet masters behind this calamity were lazy. The best example I can pull from the movie was in the third act. Malone take out an adversary and there is one of the most poorly edited sequences I have seen in some time. I will not spoil the ending for you, but If you have the ability, watch the last (approx) 20 minutes, it should not be hard to find.
The only reason I watched this was because the guy at the video store
handed it to me and told me it was really good, and I would've looked
like a wuss if I had thrown it back at him & rented "Sense and
Sensibility" instead. I mean, it's tough enough renting a Hugh Grant
flick without the added pressure.
So I got back home feeling a bit conned & not expecting much. Boy was I surprised. From the first 30 seconds I could tell this was no ordinary action flick.
Yes, as other reviewers have noted, this film is strongly rooted in film noir. But what makes it so interesting is that it's noir without the noir. Sure, we have the lantern-jawed, emotionless anti-hero who's everything we would expect from Bogie. We have the mysterious femme fatale and the late night saxophone music to add to the mood. But the visuals, pacing and presentation is something very fresh, very vibrant & colourful, and so over-the-top violent that you can't help but feel the strong contrast against the typical 40s film noir. This was deliberate on the part of the director, just like he deliberately throws in lots of playful anachronisms: 1940s cars driving alongside modern minivans, and old time cityscape that suddenly blends into modern streets (from what I understand, that's what the city of Spokane is really like), and the list goes on. Other interesting contrasts include the tough-as-nails hero who's loving mother drops in at unexpected times. The flow of this film is anything but predictable, and that's what really keeps you hooked.
But my favourite part was the insane lineup of villains. It's so surreal, like something out of Dick Tracy. I particularly liked the character of "Matchstick", a deformed, psychotic sicko whom you gotta fall in love with. Then there's the cute/slutty lolita girl "Mauler" who can carve a man up faster than a ginsu knife commercial; yet she complains that she can't get a date. And lastly we have the incomparable Ving Rhames playing the cold-hearted assassin who slips into Gandhi-like moments of introspection and wisdom. What a wacky bunch! This is definitely a fun film. Even the excessive violence is so exaggerated you gotta love it. Here we have the best gore clichés in the business: the guy who gets hit in the mouth and spits a gallon of blood, the guy who gets knifed in the leg and gushes blood like a hose, and don't forget the best one... someone getting their heart ripped out of their chest while they're still breathing. There's a lot of tongue-in-cheek fun going here. It's almost like an action flick that makes fun of action flicks. But at the same time it's subtle enough that you can take it as a straightforward action flick. Either way, you're in for a wild ride.
Think about an old classic detective story, preferrably taking place
anywhere from 1940's to 1970's. Add some really refreshing non-PG13
violence and a constant layer of humor - not forced jokes every once in
a while, but a constant weird, funny tone that is nearly always
The characters are all really stereotypical clichés, and in the best possible way. You get the seasoned and rough good guy, a femme fatale (dressed in red, of course) and villains. A stoic one and some over the top ones. Bear in mind that this is all intended. We get to see some really fun characters. Thomas Jane fits in his role very well, as does Ving Rhames. Elsa Pataky is pretty and also bad in a way that somehow fits this crazy film. Also, Doug Hutchison gets to give a really hammy performance, he had a lot of fun with this one.
At some point, the film lost its strong grip on me. Understandable, because this kind of film is extremely hard to pull off perfectly. I won't say that it falls apart, but perhaps the movie got more slow and serious when I would've preferred otherwise. Some pacing issues probably too.
Besides that, I have one thing to say: I won't forget this movie 15 minutes after the end credits start to roll. It's different from the abundance of modern mediocre action thrillers in every possible way. I will remember seeing this 10 years from now.
The tongue-in-cheek style makes this movie worthwhile. It's a fine line when you're trying to fit film noir and a constant humorous tone in the same film, but most of the time it works. If you're looking for something really serious, wholly original or exceptionally thrilling, look elsewhere. This feels more like a homage than anything else. Whatever the case may be, I liked it. I was going to give this a score of 7, but hey, this was refreshing at the least and reminded me of many great movies from the better times.
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