- 1h 24m
Assassins are after a prostitute who has come into possession of a cigarette lighter that, unbeknownst to her, contains the negatives that show a politician's assassination.Assassins are after a prostitute who has come into possession of a cigarette lighter that, unbeknownst to her, contains the negatives that show a politician's assassination.Assassins are after a prostitute who has come into possession of a cigarette lighter that, unbeknownst to her, contains the negatives that show a politician's assassination.
This was a pretty enjoyable enough giallo. Among it's more compelling facets is the entertaining mixture of genre thrills and political intrigue that emerges here. The main setup of the girls coming into contact with the initial victim moments before he gets killed, the chain of events here with them stealing the lighter later found to contain the pictures involved in the assassination attempt serves the film well. In true genre fashion, the unraveling of clues with the meaning behind the conversations about the lighter and how she fits into the whole scheme of things as well as the back-and-forth games trying to stay alive against the international agents trying to get the equipment back. There's a lot to like here with the film's breezy, up-tempo plotline which always has something going on. This usually includes plenty of fun encounters that manage to mix together these disparate genres. The giallo-based first half of this one works the best, giving plenty of highly enjoyable stalking scenes with the initial encounter in the hotel, the best friend getting attacked thinking she's with a regular client and then the failed ambush at her house are competent, shocking scenes that feel very much in the genre's heyday. The change into the action/spy movie style has some great energy to be had here with the fine car-chase through the city streets, the back-alleyways and into the aqueducts features plenty of great action alongside the series of shootouts and hand-to-hand fights. These here are what really make this one enjoyable over it's few minor issues. The main flaw to be had here is in the film's odd stylistic choices away from genre conventions. The main culprit here is the tonal shift halfway through the film to drop the giallo framework in favor of back-and-forth political thriller machinations that drain the life from this section of the film. As the killer was incredibly easy to guess, this shift away from the black-gloved killer into him meeting up with the assassins, exchanging information and making deals before being double-crossed at several points offers thrilling action but feels as though they've been dropped in from another film entirely. It's fairly odd to see the immediate switch into the different genres without any kind of setup to do so as this change is completely obvious to spot since no elements from one appear in the other. The other issue here is the strange feeling of self-censorship occurring throughout here as this one feels completely at odds with some of its subject matter. That, as a giallo, it feels unwilling to dive into the seedier aspects of its target audience with bland, nearly bloodless kills conducted by a simple knife to the body which is concealed in a walking stick to give an idea of the kind of size and stealth. This is a big misstep, much like the fact that the neutered body-count never allows for more to occur before the shift into the political thriller route. As well, for a film featuring a supposed high-end call-girl who runs into bed with nearly anyone who has enough to pay her the lack of nudity and sleaze is really overt and obvious. These leave this one a little lower than it really should be.
Rated Unrated/R: Violence and Language.
- Nov 23, 2019