The Piano Player (2002) Poster

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Not a bad Lambert film after all
zaltman_bleros19 January 2003
I rented this film expecting it to be like The Point Men, Vercingetorix and Lambert's latest crap films. But I was surprised it wasn't that bad. It runs at less then 90 minutes...although it can be a quite boring film (feels like 2 hours). The film tells the story of a rich lawyer (Dennis Hopper) who lives in South Africa and his life is in danger, some voodo/vodoo practicing crimelord wants him dead, so he (Hopper) brings in the help of Christopher Lambert to protect him. The film has a series of flashbacks which all make sense when you see the end of the film. There are some very beautiful shots of the South African landscape. I'll give this a 5.5/10, it's better then the latest turkeys Lambert has released on video lately and if you always thought of going to South Africa...this film might convince you to go.
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Unfairly judged low-budget action flick
T-Wicks9 April 2006
I don't know what the other reviewers were expecting going into this movie.

One look at the DVD case or a minute of screen time reveals that this movie was not made on a Hollywood budget.....And as far as struisenburg's review, he was obviously half asleep for the duration of the movie as each question he poses was indeed answered. Perhaps it'd be better to watch it next time with your hand not on the FF button...

I was reminded of the fun b-action movies of the 1970s and 80s. The Target may be nothing ground-breaking, but as an action/crime buff I thoroughly enjoyed it. Dennis Hopper is a pleasure to watch as an aging criminal accountant forced to flee Capetown for the rural simplicity of his childhood village. All the while pursued by a crime boss with a mysterious mystical side. The first section of the film is an effective urban action/crime flick, and the remainder is part a genuinely charming rediscovery of life, and part Western.

Production values are not the highest, though they were able to snag some big names. Still, all the acting was effective if not exceptional. The location is the real star of the film. Having never been to South Africa I can't address the complaints of its residents, however I thought the scenery was beautiful and the culture was an interesting twist on a story that could just as well have taken place in New York. I was reminded of the

It's easy to rip apart a movie like this. But if you're a fan of action or crime movies, appreciative of exotic settings, and willing to overlook some less than stellar production values, it'll be well worth your time...
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Hopper and Lambert together. What could ever go wrong?
darkstar-86 February 2003
Any chance of seen the fine acting of Mr. Hopper is what I called `a valuable experience'. After all, he is legend of it´s own, from timeless classics as: `Easy Rider' to `Blue Velvet' and the TV Series `24'. Mr. Hopper knows the drill. He starts along side another legendary actor called Christopher Lambert, from the hit `Mortal Kombat' and the sometimes gory `Resurrection' and `The Fortress', he could be called the perfect B-Movie detective, action hero. Both of them actually have mastered the Art of Traveling around the world in this somewhat enjoyable ficks about mobsters, monsters and other dramas. This time the plot revolves around a mercenary that is brought to protect a powerful business man from a mobster in Prison. He can see plenty of shots of South Africa and the landscape, a couple of car chases and a poorly written dialogue that remained me of Film 101, still this a enjoyable flick if you happened to like B-Movies and expect the usual Mobster-Bodyguard Plot that is, somehow the man you are supposed to protect not always is what you thought of it in the First Place. Both actors seemed to have enjoyed the travel expenses, and the funny fact of the film is seeing Mr. Hopper wearing a ridiculous toupee that make him look quite funny is good enough. The whole script is clearly not intended to be nominated for an Award, so if you are looking for a powerful movie, wait for Greenaway´s new project called `The Tulse Luper Suitcases', and please don´t be nagging all day because of this little project complete done over South Africa, to be seen along side others classics such as: Do not Disturb (Dick Maas) done in the marvelous city of Amsterdam and also Soul Assasin (Laurence Malkin) also done in that cool city. Have a nice afternoon watching the movie world go by in front of you cozy sofa. If you need to watch more, remember to see; `When Hollywood A Stars go Bad'.
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fast forward
struisenburg12 July 2004
South Africa is a country of great beauty and immense atmosphere. A great setting for an intelligent and suspenseful thriller one would say. If they just hadn't spoiled it! What can I say? Every time I rent a Lambert movie I'm being disappointed. This film strikes the viewer through a lack of acting talent, bad filming, awful music and no suspense whatsoever. The story is flat, predictable and makes no sense. There is no explanation of why the South African businessmen is being hunted by a criminal, nor why this guy is in prison or why he is being released. How did Robert Nile get into contact with Laney, know where to find him? The film gives no explanation as for the basic framework of the story. Instead minutes and minutes of the movie are covered by shots of the countryside the car's driving through. It's a film that is hard to stand, even when viewed in fast forward mode.
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How many alternative adjectives for terrible can I think of?
andrew-41325 September 2005
This film (available here on DVD) was so terrible, that it was - without hesitation - switched off within 20 minutes. At first flattering to see the Mother City in which I reside covered with quick cuts from moving cars etc etc, but this is not a sight-seeing documentary, nor is it aiming to be! The acting is most amateur and the plot written by imbeciles. As mentioned in a previous review, little really makes any sense. I really didn't care: with so many movies to choose from this was without hesitation dumped back on the rental counter. BTW, I've seen many dodgy movies in the last few years with Dennis Hopper and as for Christopher Lambert: 'one dimensional' comes to mind, I'm afraid.
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What else could the viewer expect from a film having the decadents Christopher Lambert and Dennis Hopper acting together?
claudio_carvalho31 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Alex Laney (Christopher Lambert), a professional killer, is hired to be the bodyguard of Robert Nile (Dennis Hopper) in the City of Cape, in South Africa. Robert Nile is the witness of prosecution of Christ, a powerful gangster and practitioner of voodoo. Alex Laney has a personal drama: when he was a child, he saw his father and mother be killed by a gunman.

The cover of the Brazilian DVD has a huge spoiler: tells the reader the end of the plot. Indeed, the beginning of this movie was promising, with some action. After thirty minutes, it becomes boring, predictable and mushy. What else could I expect from a film having the decadents Christopher Lambert and Dennis Hopper acting together? My vote is four.

Title (Brazil): "O Guarda-Costa" ("The Bodyguard")
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Please Shoot This Piano Player
Rothschild30 September 2003
The Piano Player, or The Target in the U.S., is a movie that begins with an interesting plot but loses its focus towards the middle. Christopher Lambert plays Alex Laney, an unconvincing hitman who must protect Robert Nile (Dennis Hopper), a lawyer who knows the truth about the leader of a South African mob. The problem with this movie, other than it drags, is that there's no development of the Lambert character. There's one scene where his hitman qualities shine when he saves Nile's daughter from kidnappers but his hitman character is ultimately weak and unbelievable. We witness the death of his parents when he's a child (the past of all hitmen must show why they do what they do) but the his passion to kill or protect doesn't go far. Alex Laney is a bad role for Christopher Lambert or any actor. When Robert Nile visits a small town where he was brought up we lose interest in the story because the tension dies and the mood is off tangent. It's too bad because Dennis Hopper is a great character actor who wasted his presence on this movie and Christopher Lambert (whom I'm a fan of for Highlander although I think his best work is in Subway) must certainly choose his roles more carefully. An actor need not be very diverse in roles but should pick roles suitable for his range.
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Why this movie is so underrated?
marijus-pileckas11 October 2009
It's one of my favorite movies, alongside with City of God, Emperor and Assassin, etc. And I don't know exactly why.

Well, it's not a masterpiece. But there's something what intrigued me very much.

First of all, this movie is (about) a journey. It's amazing journey of a cynical modern man. Journey to the childhood, the family, humanity, truth.

Second thing, which I very like in this movie, is atmosphere. There's something of "magic realism" of Africa/Latin America definitely.

When i visit IMDb, I was really surprised, how underrated is this movie. Maybe it's because the actors?
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The professional killer Christopher Lambert as bodyguard to the gangster Dennis Hopper - in South Africa
clanciai28 June 2018
I had misgivings about this film, as it seemed like an ordinary mass murder film dominated by meaningless violence, and indeed it starts like that, but then Christopher Lambert gets wounded, and things take an interesting turn, as Dennis Hopper takes him out into the country and we enter a completely different world. Indeed, the greatest interest of this film is the very interesting ambients and sceneries of Cape Town and the wilderness of South Africa with its rugged nature and the local people. There are some scenes that will stick in your mind forever.

The music is also very good. Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, last and first movement, recur now and then and has some bearing on the case, but all the other music is interesting as well. Above all, it's a good story, both Dennis Hopper and Christopher Lambert show their best acting sides and are well seconded by Diane Kruger. It is to be noted, that this is Jean-Pierre Roux' one and only film so far.
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Just barely OK
grahamsj34 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is a film that represents a wasted opportunity. It has a good story and features some semi big names (Dennis Hopper, Christopher Lambert and Diane Kruger). The problems were writing, direction and editing. The screenplay has too much "dead time" in it. And it's not edited very tightly either. The last half of the film takes place in a remote village and a lot of time is spent "reflecting" and just sitting around. I feel that the time could have been spent doing exposition work. There's also a problem where when Lambert's character has been knocked out by the bad guy, it's hard to tell what he was dreaming vs what was actually happening. Diane Kruger provides some eye candy, but adds very little else to the film. Hopper's a better actor than Lambert, but not much and acting Ian't this film's strong suit either. Overall, in other hands and with perhaps a more vibrant cast, this could have been a good film. By far it's strongest point is the beautiful scenery (yes, including Kruger).
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AN ALL RIGHT MOVIE November 2002
I'm a big fan of Lambert and in my book he can do no wrong.The Piano Player is a entertaining movie with good directing,solid screenplay and great actors and music.Not better then Resurrection,but much better then The Point Men and Vercingétorix.Very good for a movie with 10 million budget.7/10.
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