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I was truly impressed with Milla's performance as "Kate" and I was pleasantly surprised to see her outside of a movie laden with kung-fu, guns and monsters and instead see her in a wonderfully directed and extremely well written film.
While I've only seen Angus Macfadyen on screen a handful of times, he completely blew me away as "Big Al". He plays one of the most powerful, controlling and abusive characters I've ever seen on screen, yet he's still very much human.
There's something about Gary Lennon's writing that really helps you understand these characters and the reality they live in, no matter how dysfunctional and messed up they may be.
Overall, .45 is an amazing debut for writer/director Gary Lennon, full of brilliant acting and an enthralling story. Highly recommended!
This rare find is something you don't see every day and I found the direction unguarded and simply profound. I don't know what this first time director is going to do next, but I'm going to definitely keep an eye out.
like his first film, this movie has a lot of strong $50 moments spread throughout and a a few moments of real inspiration.
fantastic realism is combined with a terrific and courageous performance by the lovely milla j (showing some acting chops... who would'a thought?).
however, for me, the best part is the humor. especially in the beginning (taking your defenses away)... and then the next thing you realize -- BAM -- this is really serious subject matter.
Photography looks nice for a film of small budget (assuming it's small).
Fine performances by the supporting cast including Angus M, the always solid Stephen Dorff, and the divine Aisha Tyler.
If it were true to its characters and had anything to say, it could be a sleazy slice of life, not to everyone's taste, but still a respectable effort. But Lennon doesn't have the chops to do that, and his leads compound his troubles.
Hairy Angus Macfayden does such a poor New York accent that the script actually has to explain he was taken to Scotland as a boy. That pathetic explanation comes in one of many faux documentary interviews interspersed through the show because Lennon has no idea of how to develop character through plot.
Milla Jovovich's so-called career continues to go down the, uh, drain. The only thing she brings to this part are her gigantic nipples, again exposed from time to time to underscore her lack of anything else.
But even if Milla could act, it's hard to get over terrible writing. This is a movie where a battered woman's counselor also winds up advising the perpetrator. And the counselor's advice to the victim is to use her lips, hits and tits _ it clearly didn't occur to Lennon to use a brain anywhere. And the supposedly clever revenge plot simply involves a montage of scenes of the scrawny Jovovich in various states of undress followed by one twist-you-can-see- coming-a-mile-away. As bonus, it also indicts her character and a seemingly decent character as more mindlessly violent and cruel losers.
As secondary characters, Stephen Dorff and Aisha Tyler seem like they're visiting form a better movie, but they'd have to write that one themselves.
In short, if you come upon a copy of this movie, burn it.
".45" is an amoral and cynical tale of manipulation and use of sex to achieve an objective. The story uses elements of Ken Russell's "Whore", with the characters speaking to the camera like in a documentary. Mila Jovovich and Angus Macfadyen give magnificent performances in the role of amoral losers. I liked a lot this bold movie, but it is recommended for specific audiences. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): ".45 A Vitória é a Vingança" (".45 The Victory Is the Vengeance")
Unremarkable crime drama would work on a b-movie level but is sunk by a supporting cast that doesn't seem to be adept at acting. Then again they simply may not care because there really is no real intensity in the lot. The fact that they don't seem to care makes it so we don't care.the result is a film that is not particularly anything, it's just sort of there, like a piece of art that was bought to match a sofa, this was made just to create a pay check. Ultimately the sort of thing you'll forget after ten minutes.
this being said, the actual movie is not perfect. and it is definitely not for everyone. the dark and gritty realism in the movie is as intriguing as it is disturbing. the most respectable factor of the film is the way that it uses a believable plot and doesn't try to cross the line into an action movie.
The humour of the movie is dry and dirty, but very amusing. the documentary style monologues littered between key scenes give a fresh way to explore the characters. the speeches given by Kate and Als mothers are truly hilarious.
The relationship between Vic and Rielly is shown JUST the right amount to make it entertaining without being sappy or over-dramatic. they provide great sub scenes and silently hint the viewers with subliminal messages on sexuality and love
The key scene in the movie is clearly the abuse scene. at this point, Big Al drunkenly abuses Kate in their apartment. this scene is extremely disturbing and frightening. the acting is very powerful and realistic. for this scene alone i believe both actors deserve awards.
the last fifteen minutes were a steady descent downwards as far as plot was involved. at this point Kate begins seducing everyone and anyone in order to have Al framed for murder. this section of the movie seems to leave behind all the realistc plot events that were previously shown, especially when Aisha Taylors character gets involved with Milla.
in fact, despite being incredibly sexy throughout the film, Aisha's character seems to pul the movie increasingly downwards as she becomes less professional. i mean, in one sense her characters development was okay, because we saw that beneath the exterior of a strong and serious abuse victim there is still a thrill seeking and emotion driven woman. but on the other hand, her characters sudden lust for Kate and willingness to commit a crime seem unrealistic
the final twists that showed Kate caring "only for numbwer one" was a great outcome, although not brilliantly executed and far from moralistic. its also interesting to note that although the movie seems based around Kates abuse, it is quite obvious that she herself is abusing Al during most of the movie. you cant be sure how you feel about each character as they all experience different changes in the story.
I've kinda made this review all over the place XD but i think you might get the point. the movie was well developed, had great characters, great story, and Brilliant acting, but has a few flaws with its ending.
.45 is basically an R-rated Lifetime Movie of the Week. The story is a messy mix of domestic violence, crime, revenge, double-crosses, and general pointlessness. I was massively disinterested within the first ten minutes, but I forced myself to watch all of it, because of my misguided aversion to not finishing a movie (unless I absolutely must, ex. Darkness). No one came out of this one looking good, even the pretty Ms. Jovovich. I'm struggling to think of a single redeeming quality...nope. I'm drawing a blank. Even if you're a die-hard fan of Milla, I still could not recommend this. She does have talent, but none of it is on display, here. It's been a few months since I've seen a movie that I enjoyed this little.
The second problem are the characters, I never really grew to care about any of them as sometimes through the course of the film they just seemed stupid. Like the main character Kat, played by Milla Jovovich who stands out the most, she's smart enough to plot revenge but not smart enough to avoid a guy like Big-Al (Angus Macfadyen) who pounds her to a pulp altogether.
Final Verdict, This film is really not as good as people have been saying despite the cast giving passable performances, the main problems are the repetitive and boring dialog and the uninteresting characters.
I have nothing against when movie displays bad and awful things or talk. Life is not fine and nice for everyone, nor everyone is fine. But in this movie all looked unrealistic, forced - one dimensional.
Especially last half hour was complete unbelievable and stoopid - or just some soft porn? Badly directed - I even did not try to understand what exactly happened. Totally uninterested for characters and forced plot.
Better watch No Good Deed (with same IMDb average rating)if you are Milla without action fan :-)
I cut my teeth on Scorsese, Casavettes and the unflinching cinema usually found in foreign films from the 70's and 80's. What the film ".45" does is reminds me that there are great ideas, writing and film-making in America, if only the corporations that run them give filmmakers a chance.
Sure .45 is vulgar, and at times hard to watch, but one of the most remarkable scenes in the film (the beating) shows that through performance and craftsmanship one can be truly horrified by brutality of a situation without actually seeing a person totally annihilated. Kudos to Milla Jovovich whose performances have been marginal for perhaps her entire career. Thank goodness the director saw something in her to give her the opportunity to play in a role that is at times transformative. The supporting cast is stellar, and seeing the woman who plays Milla's turkey kicking mother is well worth the price of the rental. It's strange to see this film in the video store and not released in an actual theater. Or perhaps I blinked RENT THIS!
But no! At last - I've seen Mila acting. Great creation. Simultaneously a victim and a strong female, who can use everyone just to reach the goal.
The scene when her guy bits her hard was well done - Mila as a little frightened creature. And then the revenge...
Don't be upset with the beginning, when Kat talks about the huge cock. The rest of the film explains the use of this primitive form and becomes better and better to the very end.
Imagine a director fresh out of film school who loves the movies of Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese, but has no talent himself. Now imagine that he gets it into his head that if he just has the actors scream and curse enough, he will make a masterpiece. Now get him addicted to crystal meth and grain alcohol, and in the final days of his addiction, let him direct a film without the use of a script.
That movie would be 10 times better than ".45", which was just horrible.
The acting was so bad that at first you'll think it's some kind of joke. The script is unbelievably stupid. One of the main characters is such a bad actor that he can't do a passable American accent, so you get this Lower East side Bowery Boys version of an American accent by a Scottish actor who does an American accent so badly that they have to write something in the script explaining that his father divorced his mother and took him away to Scotland, so he grew up with this bad accent. It has no other relationship to anything in the movie except to explain why this American tough-guy has a Scottish brogue coming through his awful American-ese.
Milla should be embarrassed. Maybe after Ultraviolet she decided she wanted to be considered a serious actress, so assumed she needed to play a role where she gets naked and does drugs and her boyfriend beats her up and everybody hollers a lot. Wow, I'm so sad for Milla. Stephen Dorff must have wanted to have the negative burned because even he's sleepwalking through the whole thing.
I'd normally recommend this movie just because you get few shots of Milla mostly naked, but it's not even worth it for that. Shame on anyone who had anything to do with this movie. The only reason it gets two stars is because I save one star for the movies that actually hurt people, like Nazi propaganda or racist films or Passion of the Christ. This is just a hair better than that.
If you want to see a really realistic film about domestic abuse watch Nil By Mouth and appreciate Ray Winstones raw multi-layered performance, if you want a steamy revenge thriller ( as this tries to be later in the narrative ) pick one out of a guide because,chances are, it'll entertain you better than this. Kudos to Stephen Dorff and Sara Strange who actually manage to inject some humanity into their underwritten roles.
Skin fans who like skinny women might disagree but I found the nudity ( and I like nudity in film- sometimes it's the only thing to keep you awake watching a bad movie) gratuitous and unsexy. It's a bad one, steer clear.
The movie has a lot of explicit scenes with lots of violence, sex and bad language. The plot is fairly simple: Kate is taking her sweet revenge on Big Al after experiencing a night of domestic violence (get prepared to see Milla abused).
The movie is nicely shot, milla is playing a difficult character (she always does in drama films, doesn't she?) and at some points she is really good at it, but at some scenes I felt like she was overacting to be honest with you. She could do much better.
She is a small time crook, and she is a tough cookie! She is using her real accent this time around.
(spoiler starts here) Spoiler: She shows a lot of skin , she has a big mouth, lots of sex (with both men and women!).
The film starts with kate (milla) in a close up talking about big al's huge cock! lol After the abuse scene, her face is full of bruises and one of her eyes is swollen and almost unrecognizable . And every one in the audience has a reason to hate Big Al! Poor little girl...
The most powerful scene is the abuse scene but thats the only scene I felt milla was a bit overacting. Her crying was too long, too loud and seemed a bit fake. Then I thought, that if milla really cried her eyes out, she would probably would sound like this so maybe it isn't that fake after all.
When milla is returning home and messes up her house in anger of what has happened to her the next day was one of her best.
(spoiler ends here) Apart from violence and all, there is a lot of humor and nice lines in the film (I loved Big Al's mother!).
To sum it up, its a nice decent small indie film but it also has its flaws. I felt it could explore more things on the subject. But is sure good to see milla in a drama film again! Well done, milla! Can't wait to see you in more drama films in the future! 7/10
Incredibly grating with every character in the film representing their own form of scumbag. From start to finish, these characters plot and scheme against each other. Kat is in the center..she's quite hot, but when that mouth opens..phew. Quite surprised to see, summarizing through the user comments on here, the love towards this film. Pointedly, the respect seems aimed at the film's supposed raw power and in-your-face bluntness. To each his own, I guess.
The cover for the film sees its lead character, named Kate (Jovovich), sitting, indeed leaning up against a wall, in a leather jacket; short skirt and leggings. She holds a pistol and looks just off centre beyond the onlooker. She's there and you can see it; she wants you to notice her and she has this look in her eye as if to say 'I know you're there, but I'm not acknowledging you'. She remains alluring in an odd pose and yet aware of her sexuality as she refrains from looking directly at us. This suggested to me a female character of great power; of great awareness and of considerable sense. It suggested a film that had could have ventured down the route of noir with Jovovich playing a femme fatale role. Too bad it ends up being a direct to cable feature, reminiscent of a 1990's low-budget erotic thriller, about how, in fact, stupid and submissive a woman can be at times that present them with the chance to be strong and independent.
"So?", I hear you say "The film wasn't what you were expecting it to be – that's still no reason to dislike it". Well actually, it is. The film clearly wants to fall into that realm of noir. It's told in flashback format; it is narrated; it revolves around scummy criminal lowlifes in an urban location and it centres around a protagonist that delicately tiptoes on that line between moral/immoral as well as right/wrong. Towards the end, the film moves up a gear and into a fully fledged noir infused tale of seduction and betrayal when certain events transpire with Kate instigating it all. Trouble is, these characters are supposed to 'use' their sexuality, not 'give' it away and allow themselves to play a submissive.
The films begins with a real regular annoyance of mine in films: the dreaded 'piece to camera'; the 'look how post-modern we're being' tactic. Jovovich stands there, grinning and laughing in a childish fashion about how 'big' her ex-partner was. I could've handled it once, as a setting up of the past situation but we get several other characters deliver their own opinions on said character's ex-partner. The ex-partner in question is Al (Macfadyen), played by an actor whom, believe it or not, once played the role of Orson Welles. It's established Al and Kate live together in New York with Al selling guns and Kate, who pretty much hangs around and pleasured him when he wants.
The first third is a non-event. People deliver pieces to the camera, which is just tiresome; characters describe sex acts, talk of sex and engage in annoying, old-hat pulpy dialogue sequences like when two women talk about why 'men are a bit like snow' – something to do with the ambiguity revolving around 'how many inches you get' and 'how long it'll last.' Not funny, not clever. Half an hour has gone by and we have, quite literally, got nothing to go on. Smack on the thirty minute mark we have a scene in which three leering men eye up some women in a bar and make their move. Nothing yet.
Then the film has the audacity to pull the rug from under our feet by presenting a wildly out of place scene in which it transforms into something else entirely. Oh right, so all this meandering was leading to this, was it? Now it's a tale about the aftermath of such events and how women can leave a relationship; stand up for themselves; get a new life. Actually, no – apparently. Apparently Kate takes this chance to re-confess her love for Al, despite what transpires; she takes this chance to actually go back to him and restart the relationship, only I guess we're supposed to sympathise with her a tad more because she doesn't enjoy the sex as much. What's equally hilarious is the incidence during which Al delivers a piece to camera of his own, asking us to excuse him.
A user on the 'plot summary' page here on IMDb says Kae is 'smart, stylish, and self-confident.' No she's not! She's an idiot who blushes when she talks of male genitalia; cannot think for herself and is only injected with these personality traits when the narrative demands she needs them. This is for the final third, when the film needs one character to be a bisexual female that likes Kate; needs another one to be a former victim at the hands of a male to fuel hatred and needs a male that both hates certain characters and likes Kate at once to instigate the finale. The film is a mess. It carries the same checklist that cheap, direct to DVD movies have: some nudity; little bit of sex; splashes of violence; maybe some girl on girl action; everyone's a caricature; etc. It's bad, bad, bad and surprisingly dull. I just kept wishing everyone grow up a little: get out more; explore; live a little; go and meet some nice people for a change; find a hobby. What might've been an interesting piece really just ends up as Bound meets Nil By Mouth.
Another woman, Vic(Sarah Strange) also tries to help Kat and is in love with her in a romantic way.
The final piece of the puzzle is Reilly(Stephen Dorff), another criminal who is a partner of big Al's and like everyone else, lusts for the sexy Kat. He tells her to get revenge on her former lover by killing him.
Kat must make a big decision as to whether or not do away with Al forever or just go along her merry way.
New York City is the backdrop for .45 and it works well, as usual, for a street crime drama. Milla Jovovich is convincing as the gun moll, Kat, and the story is interesting enough for a rating of 7.