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A Good Story of Betrayal but with a Terrible Screenplay
claudio_carvalho16 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
In Paris, the businessman Miles Rennberg (Michael Madsen) is ruined after bad investments and tells his partner Andrew (Alex Descas) that he will sell his share to the company Golden Eagle. When Miles meets the former prostitute Sandra (Asia Argento), she recalls her love for him and their kinky sex. Miles used her services to entertain and get inside information from other entrepreneurs and used to feel excited with their dirty sex. Sandra is presently working with Sue (Kelly Lin) and her husband Lester Wong (Carl Ng) and dreams on having her night-club in Beijing; further, she is the lover of Lester. One night, Sandra visits Miles in his apartment and she handcuffs him in the preliminaries of their sex game; nevertheless, she unexpectedly shots him in the nape. Then she meets Lester, who had a contract to kill Miles, and he gives the tickets and directions to Sandra to travel to Hong Kong and meet his friend Mr. Ho (Boss Mok). Lester would meet her later and get their money. When Sandra discovers that she had been betrayed and Lester would not arrive in Hong Kong, she needs to fight to survive in a hostile environment.

"Boarding Gate" is a film with a good story of betrayal but unfortunately with a terrible screenplay. The plot is a complete mess but Asia Argento saves the film, at least for fans of this actress like me. She is sexy performing her perverted but confused character that is capable of having kinky sex with strangers and fall in love for two scumbags. It is difficult to understand her contradictory character that was a prostitute but refuses the money she earned for killing Miles. The film also makes a confused tour and in the beginning is very difficult to understand that the story takes place in Paris. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Traição em Hong Kong" ("Betrayal in Hong Kong")
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Asia's Tectonics
tedg17 May 2009
Two things are interesting about the film.

The first and most discussed is the actress, Asia Argento. She and Beatrice Dalle are similar I think. They both have the quality of fearless commitment - like Emily Watson in "Breaking the Waves" and never afterward. They both have fumbled around facial features. They both are known as sexy — only because of nudity and the roles.

But more fundamental to me is that they both know things. I believe that an artist has to both have talent and be truly an interesting person; they have to know things we do not. Asia does. In fact, you can see it even in her first movie just as she is hitting puberty. This woman shows us a character that has qualities that this woman understands.

Streep has talent but no knowledge. Asia has less talent but she matters. This is one of her best. Don't miss it. Don't miss how she breathes. The nudity and story is nothing compared the grace of her visible breathing.

Here, she plays a woman who does what we all do: make compromises for companionship which if it has what we want we call love. The missing bits always catch up with us and with her the writer maps these pretty deftly into components of a thriller.

The structure of that thriller is the second notable bit. Of all genres, the thriller is most plastic. Allowing many flows so long as tension and guns are involved.

The story here sneaks up on you. Almost nothing is predictable. It starts slowly, and then bam. It goes off in an unexpected direction. The interesting narrative device here is that we follow her and discover things as she does. But she knows things, many things, that we do not. She does get surprised as we do, but not always so. At the end, she is allowed to write the future, for her lover at any rate.

My guess is that if she had never gotten and displayed that labial tattoo, she would have been taken more seriously. And we would be better off cinematically.

This is a good one. Angelic.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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Director Olivier Assayas constructs a complicated tale that leaves his actors completely adrift
dbborroughs26 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Olivier Assayas' film stars Asia Argento as a woman who had a relationship with Michael Madsen. Madsen is a business man who's in financial trouble. In desperation he is going to sell his share of a business to a company called Golden Eagle, a company from the Far East. As Madsen begins his moves away from his company Asia Argento returns to his life. The pair had a torrid love affair that included her doing business favors for Madsen (with said Golden Eagle). Once Argento enters the film the film follows her as we see the tangled web she's woven and how the complications spin dangerously and violently out of control.

I'm not a fan. Actually I was quite bored as the film seems to go from pillar to post for much of the first hour during which I kept wondering what the point was other than to provide a meaty role for Argento. Argento, daughter of director Dario Argento and a director in her own right, is a unique actress. At times stunningly good, she is more often then not going to give you a quirky off beat portrayal of a damaged human being. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I don't think it completely works here mostly because the script is too "complicated" to support it. I didn't care what was going on so her wounded girl just rubbed me the wrong way(she seemed more nut job than anything else). I'm not blaming the actors but writer/director Assayas who has once again constructed a complicated tale with the sort of parts actors love to tackle, but which leave audiences scratching their heads because they they don't really work.

If you must try it on cable
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I was here for Asia
lastliberal8 July 2008
This film will not be to everyone's tastes. It is a tale of corporate intrigue and, frankly, even I was bored at time with the pace.

But, I have to remember that I was here for Asia Argento. Yes, she has a body to die for, and she is definitely on my top ten list of babes with guns. She gets caught up in corporate shenanigans between two lovers (Michael Madsen and Carl Ng). One is trying to unload his shares, and the other is trying to make a lot of money.

People die, there are some kinky sex scenes, and there is Asia doing an incredibly good job of trying to get through everything and stay alive.

You never really know whether she will make it, and you are not sure why she does what she does at the end. Love is stringer than hate? Maybe.

You just have to love that bod!
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Pretty bad, though it ends far better than it begins
grantss15 July 2020
A beautiful woman, Sandra, seduces a wealthy businessman, Miles Rennburg. Little does he realise that she has been sent to kill him at the behest of her boyfriend/crime partner, Lester. Controlling all this is Sue, Lester's wife.

This film started incredibly badly, with laughable dialogue and a plot that made little sense. The scenes involving Sandra / Asia Argento and Rennburg / Michael Madsen are incredibly cringeworthy in their pretentiousness, dullness, poor dialogue and next level-wooden acting from Madsen. Just the presence of Michael Madsen pretty much gives it away that this film is going to be bad: his days of Tarantino roles are well behind him.

However, once Madsen is no longer in the picture things pick up a bit and some semblance of a plot emerges. It is never good or even watchable but at least it's not as bad as the first few scenes.
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Slow, kinky, ambitious, pretentious, offbeat....
gridoon20213 June 2008
....are some of the words I would use to describe "Boarding Gate". It's a mix of different genres (drama, action, travelogue), languages (English, Chinese, French), ethnic backgrounds (the three main leads are a European, an American and an Asian). It's not a "Girls-With-Guns" film or a study in madness, despite what the cover or the tagline ("She's losing control again") seem to indicate. Asia Argento is raw and uninhibited as usual, and, like her or not, you've gotta hand it to her: there aren't many actresses out there who would tackle on the role she has here. But while it is refreshing to see a movie where you don't know how everything will turn out within the first 10 minutes, there doesn't seem to be much of a point to this whole exercise, apart maybe from "becoming an amateur contract killer is not such a good idea". Is it worth watching? I can't quite make up my mind about that, so I'll give it ** out of 4 stars.
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better than I had expected
christopher-underwood24 September 2014
This is fine, better than I had expected. Madsen is good at the start and helps get things going but it is Asia Argento that really holds this together with a most compelling performance. The direction is a bit frenetic but gradually we learn to live with the rapidity and apparent random nature of things, helped or not helped, depending on your view by pretty inconsequential storyline. With a combination of a lack of solid narrative, fast editing and Asia Argento we come to 'go with the flow' on this one and thereby enjoyment is to be had. The switch to a Hong Kong setting for the second half is entirely appropriate but still everything looks much the same and moves along just as quickly. So, in summary, you might not always know what's going on but if you've half a yen for Ms Argento and like things tough and speedy, this is for you.
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Disneyland with the Death Penalty
tieman645 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is a review of "Demonlover" and "Boarding Gate", two films by director Olivier Assayas.

"Demonlover" focuses on the manoeuvres of various multinational corporations as they vie for the financial control of interactive 3-D anime pornography. The film sees the postmodern world as an all-pervasive pornographic video game, in which every level or space is housed (like the rabbit holes in Lynch's "Inland Empire") within a seemingly infinite series of overlapping boxes and containers. This schema is what philosopher Gilles Deleuze calls the control society, in which the world is comprised of "open boxes" which exist in both physical space and cyberspace. Between and within these boxes humans float, carrying packets of information in which the content, in true McLuhan fashion, is always the content of another medium. In a sense, humans are transmitters or facilitators of information between these surfaces. They are the bridge between content and container.

The film takes a very dark view of capitalism. Finance is codified as rape, sodomy, sex games and murder, whilst boardrooms and corporate offices become "boarding gates" or "access points" to bondage parlours, fetish dungeons and torture chambers, their dark shows broadcast live on the Net like stock-market indices. In true Croenenberg (Existenz, History, Promises), Kubrick (Eyes) and Lynch (Inland) fashion, the film is too smart to separate the real from the virtual (Matrix, Truman Show, Dark City), but instead works to show their indiscernibility.

As the film progresses, Assayas shows how our social sphere has become conflated with the logic of interactive gaming. The world is a game-space, everything evacuated, laid flat, everyone a participatory avatar, everything governed by source code and every action a mere means to an end. All that counts is the score, individuals exclusively defined by their points or place in the game, which is also their spot on a corporate ladder in which the competition is unremitting and ruthless.

Everyone in the film is thoroughly desensitised to sex and violence, accepting it all as a normalized part of the game. Globalization has taken the game worldwide, corporations all jostling for domination. The survivors are multilingual, career consumed, chic, genderless, androgynous, always in a state of flux and thoroughly devoid of Self. They are flexible and fragmented to the point of nonexistence. Their masks mask the fact that there are no identities to hide. When they speak, every sentence is about business, stocks, shares, mergers and the joys or traumas of unfettered capitalism. Feelings are understood entirely in relation to "work" and "usefulness".

Assayas conveys the schizophrenia of our age by sticking to sustained, super close ups. Establishing shots are rare, the camera is nervous, anxious, while the colour palette is ultra modern, all cool blues and whites, neon lights and corporate fluorescents. As the game world suffers extreme cultural overload, its inhabitants must rely on blinders. Those who aren't myopic, where myopia is form of niche specialization, must learn to quickly process, digest, dismiss, skim and filter masses of information, lest they overload. Adapt to this toxic future or die.

China and Japan are the new markets, the cutting edge of capital. In this game, some winners take most, most winners take some, and the rest suffer enormously. The game stresses dominance and submission, the film ending on a shot as spiritually empty as the end of Romero's "Dairy of the Dead". In "Dairy" the lone survivors of humanity are locked in a room with a computer screen. Here, Assayas has his hero "sucked into a computer"; atomized.

If "Miami Vice" stresses the seemingly infinite speed and reach of the market, the constant swirl of product and the inability of human connections to be forged in transit, never mind the formation of a stable Self in a world of undercover masks and collapsible identities, then Assayas takes things to their absurd conclusion. In "Demonlover", companies unknowingly employ their enemies and are entirely populated or infected by undercover agents. There are no values outside of individual success and dominance. And as this routinised violence becomes embraced by the global culture, repressed violence and taboo sexuality slips to the underside and right back round again. The cyber is no longer the shadow of a culture which glamorises all that is obscene, rather, the boundaries between the cyber and the real are no longer perceptible.

"Boarding Gate" is also a film about boxes. Our protagonist, played by Asia Argento, moves between corporate offices, loading docks, airports, condominiums, sweatshops, shopping malls, nightclubs, toilets and abandoned workrooms. Like the hero of "Demonlover", she is part sex worker and part corporate lackey, bridging the worlds of the ultra rich and the hopelessly impoverished.

Argento bounces from spaces packed with crowds of human beings to spaces which are completely empty. No space is her home. She belongs nowhere, the flux demanding that she become a creature of transience, rootless, a tool of functional anonymity. Quoting anthropologist Marc Auge, philosopher Steven Shaviro calls this a world of "non places" in which "transit points and temporary abodes proliferate under luxurious or inhuman conditions". Everywhere is a bus stop to somewhere else.

The "Boarding Gate" of the film's title thus conjures up Deleuze's rhizomatic network, in which "any point can be connected to any other point, and must be". Argento travels from gate to gate, container to container, without ever arriving at a final destination. As Deleuze says, in the control society "you never finish anything", Argento subjected to a series of endless postponements, the same problems and conflicts simply deferred and relayed from one space to the next without ever being resolved. She moves from boarding gate to boarding gate, passed and traded around like virtual capital while other people prosper.

The film ends with Argento contemplating killing her handlers. She decides against it. They all think she's dead. They have no use for her. Better to live this way, she thinks. She slips away. A ghost, but free.

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improves as it goes along
Buddy-5118 October 2008
"Boarding Gate" is an initially verbose French crime drama that, for the first half at least, threatens to talk itself and us to a standstill. Luckily, at about the midway point, the pacing picks up considerably and it turns into a stylish, gripping thriller.

The film chronicles the stormy relationship between an unscrupulous businessman and the ex-mistress he routinely pimps out to his clients. However, it's only after she's lured into committing murder and forced to go on the lam to Hong Kong that the movie becomes an intriguing, multi-layered look at infidelity and betrayal.

Italian actress Asia Argento, who's a dead-ringer for Uma Thurman, commands the screen with her pouting eroticism and natural charisma, and she gets strong support from Michael Madsen and Carl Ng as the two main men in her life, as well as from Kelly Lin as a romantic rival who reluctantly helps Argento out in the end. The direction by Olivier Assayas - in the second half at least - is crisp, focused and exciting, and the visuals alone are enough to compensate for some of the gaping holes in the storyline.

One caveat, however: while technically a French movie, most of the dialogue is actually in English. However, there are times when the movie unaccountably lapses into un-subtitled French and Chinese, leaving the audience in the dark as to a few, possibly crucial, details in the story - proving yet again that a picture is not necessarily always worth a thousand words.
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A study, not a gun
chaos-rampant26 December 2011
This is not quite as muddled as made out to be, but it's not any kind of Hong Kong pistol stuff that it may appear to be based on plot and cast either. It's the kind of film that presents itself as a thriller but is actually about people and the structure.

It's a two-part complex. The first part plays like an emotional upskirt peek at the tormented soul of this woman, who loved at the hands of a man who tossed and toyed her around for pleasure. She's played by Asia Argento who so effortlessly can channel sex mixed with pain - one of her early film roles after all was back in Italy for father Dario, where she falls victim to a serial rapist. We get some stuff about drugs, pistols are whipped out then forgotten again.

Now the French touch, our first pointer about what it's all really about; she becomes the character she has written about, a fictional sci-fi woman who controls men.

Tables are switched, and turns out she was really manipulating this whole time from inside the image he had been used to subdue. For the second part we fly down to Hong Kong where it threatens again to become a thriller. Pistols are whipped out again and forgotten once more. Here we come to understand that she's fallen prey to another lover controlling her for own purposes. There's another woman who is also vying for control of her strings, a sexual antagonist.

So having consummated one desire about revenge, she is not one step closer to being a free person. Her present suffering is still bound to that first violence that was a sexual desire; this is given to us as having been raped in her sleep, and so the horrible hurt of an unconscious drive, repressed, felt to be beyond any control and so any responsibility. Aptly enough, this second part is about self-discovery then; she's vulnerable for the first time, no more games or roles, conceding to flow where it may.

It is film noir as far as world dynamics go, make no mistake. To pursue desire is to be trapped helpless in a self-generating chimera.

Usually in noir that desire was codified as the femme fatale and who is here our protagonist but rendered as an image, a fictional guise, full of cracks suggesting the distraught person behind.

Finally she follows this second manipulative lover so that it can be revealed to us who was pulling the strings from behind all this time. She gets a second chance for revenge. The final image is one of poignant beauty, as blurry, out-of-focus for the world of plotting and machinations that we felt as the film, she ascends out of view liberated. She is literally no longer part of the film that was pure deceit from the start.

So for all intents and purposes, it should have been a great film about karmic cycles. It's not quite, but only because, for some reason, this was felt that should also appeal to a broad audience. So, it's filmed in a syncopated manner that is associated with TV, which makes sense in context because the camera is meant to be a frantic eye searching for things as she is, but which probably threw a curveball at those who usually expect a character study in long painterly sweeps and would be otherwise rewarded here.

It didn't help that it came out in the same year as No Country, another post-noir, much more overtly cinematic, and a host of other well-received films. So not a groundbreaking film, but see it if it shows up.
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Boring Gate is more like it
MBunge31 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the great "Who gives a bleep!" movies of all time. Most of the film isn't really that bad, but it never gives you a reason to care what happens to any of characters or wonder how the story will turn out.

Sandra (Asia Argento) used to be a prostitute in love with rich and screwed up investment banker Miles (Michael Madsen). They used to have depraved sex and Miles also used Sandra to have sex with other businessmen to get inside information from them. That so-called relationship ended and now Sandra works for Lester and Sue Wang (Carl Ng and Kelly Lin), helping manage their import/export business. Sandra also works for herself, smuggling drugs inside the Wang's shipments and selling those drugs with the help of her apparent friend Lisa (Joanne Preiss). After one of Sandra's drug deals goes bad, Lester inexplicably shows up to help her out, somebody ends up dead and Sandra flees to Singapore, where someone else ends up dead and people try to kill her until a blonde (Kim Gordon) playing the part of Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction shows up to solve all of Sandra's immediate problems.

This is an excruciatingly boring movie. If you're not fidgeting in your seat, wishing for it to be over before it's even halfway done, you'd have to be either stoned out of your mind or dead. But Boarding Gate isn't boring because the acting is flat or the plot is lame or anything like that. Most of the dialog is fairly ridiculous and there's a silly twist in the middle, but a lot of Oliver Assayas' work is fairly decent. The story is okay and the movie looks fine. None of the actors embarrass themselves, or anything like that. However, nothing that happens in this movie to any of the characters matters at all, because you don't care if they succeed or fail, live or die.

Sandra is the star of this story. She's the one we're supposed to identify with, the one we worry about when she's threatened or in danger. The movie, though, only defines her as a drug-dealing, former prostitute. We're given nothing else about Sandra and how she came to be this person. The film doesn't even seem to care if Sandra is good or bad. She's just the star and the audience is expected to care about her. I t's as though Assayas looked at Argento and was so blinded by what he saw, he thinks everyone else will be just as blind. I can see fine, though, and Argento's nothing special.

That applies to the other characters in the film as well. Carl Ng and Kelly Lin try hard to pump some genuine emotion into Lester and Sue, but it's so unconnected to anything in the story that it just makes Lester and Sue seem weird and overexcited. Miles is, essentially, Michael Madsen being Michael Madsen. If you like Michael Madsen being Michael Madsen, you'll enjoy his time on screen. If you want anything more than Michael Madsen being Michael Madsen, you'll be greatly disappointed.

There are three points where the movie tries to make us care about these people. Sandra and Miles have two unbelievably long and pointless scenes where they spout unmemorable and obviously contrived dialog at each other and Sandra and Sue have their own scene that's not quite as long but just as useless. I think the conversations are supposed to give us insight into these people but they really just dwell on a lot of the backstory to this movie and run over some exposition. These scenes tell us nothing about Sandra, Miles or Sue that isn't readily apparent from the moment we encounter them.

Argento goes topless at one point and rubs her crotch at another. Those moments make you think Boarding Gate is going to be one of those exploitive, sex-and-guns, late-night-cable thrillers. That's all the sex in the movie, though, and there's not much more violence. It's like Assayas thought he could take the script for a crude and prurient melodrama and "class it up" enough to make it a serious drama. He couldn't, which leaves this movie in a weird limbo. If you could relate to these characters as real people, you might be interested in what happens to them. But since you can't relate to them, all you can focus on is how the story manages to be both pretentious and uneventful.
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Female agent of crime bosses services her adrenaline addiction while being dogged by treachery.
suite9217 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Sandra and Miles have a long talk about their long, slow dissolve into a permanent breakup. She goes off to work with Sue and Lester Wang. She kills Miles for Lester Wang. Then she's off to yet another gig in Hong Kong under a new identification.

Her friend Lisa goes to Hong Kong as well, but separately. Sandra finally gets to the appointed place, and finds Lisa murdered. Whom to trust? She kills two would-be assassins, then goes on the run.

Sandra talks to Sue, who is also in Hong Kong. Sue says Sandra can meet Lester but Sandra meets Sue instead. They talk about Lester, and his cheating on Sue. They talk as well about Sue's expertise with Beijing versus Lester's being limited to Europe and Hong Kong.

By this time, there is a warrant for Sandra's arrest for her murder of the two assassins she killed. She has no ID that will allow her to fly or register at a hotel. Plus, Sue drugged her. Ah, jealousy.

She awakes in a dwelling that one of Lester's friends owns. She gives Sandra passport, tickets, and money for a trip to Shanghai, where a job awaits her. Lester is not happy with Sue. Sandra sees Lester meet with Andrei, Miles' long time partner. So, she killed Miles for Andrei. Nice. What will she do with this knowledge? Smells like a sequel, but I do not see one in IMDb.


Cinematography: 6/10 A bit blurry and soft in focus for perhaps 80% of the film. The camera work was jumpy for far too many minutes.

Sound: 4/10 Better than the video. However, sound also transmits information; well, sometimes it does. The Netflix version had unacceptable problems. There were dozens of lines in French, with no translation in the subtitles. This was not good. There were five times as many lines in Chinese, also with no English in the subtitles. That was even worse.

Acting: 6/10 I liked the performances of Kelly Lin and Michael Madsen, but Asia Argento was more bizarre than interesting.

Screenplay: 4/10 This is a nice 10 minute short done in 106 minutes. The conversations between Miles and Sandra went on forever. Thirty plus minutes of those conversations could have been cut. The conversations between Sandra and Sue go on forever.
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5/10's not the reason...
bjarias1 September 2015
Go on bing.. type in Asia Argento.. and right there is all the reason most need to know why their watching anything she is in. It is true Boarding Gate is overall not worth the experience (with way too much foreign dialogue not subtitled), but like said.. you're watching for another purpose. Hey, parts you don't like press fast-forward. Now if you haven't already seen it, and I can't believe any true Asia fans haven't.. go search out and watch B.Monkey. It's an almost ten year earlier AA flick (much less wear and tear.. remember she's a very passionate woman) and IMHO it's one of the best films she's done. Compare the supporting casts and scripts.. it's hands-down no contest. Sure she's more than likely not going to take home any statues.. but we'll keep watching none the less. Like the man said.. when she is on screen.. you just don't take your eyes off her!
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Rock chick of the century
richard_sleboe25 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Michael Madsen is great in the part of Miles, a mover and shaker with a soft spot for hard-bodied beauties. Also, there's a Chinese guy (Carl Ng) who looks like an Asian edition of Edward Norton. Neither of which is the point. The point is the crazy Italian girl (Sandra, played by Asia Argento), and what she endures at the hands of the Golden Eagle corporation and its evil minions. Not that she's an angel herself. More than anything, she's a broken girl, not unlike Luc Besson's "Nikita". Sandra's half-hour kitchen scene is nothing short of a revelation. It starts with a shared cigarette and ends with a mess much bigger than dirty dishes and broken plates. It's the kind of mess that won't go away. So Sandra does. To Hong Kong, only to find Miles was the lesser evil after all. Asia Argento is obviously a serious person, not spoiled by random relativism like the rest of us. She throws herself into every scene, be it commonplace or spectacular, with the single-mindedness of a Zen master and the intensity of a maniac. Would I care though if she wasn't so hot? Not likely. I am what I am.
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Lame duck thriller wannabe
Bloodwank22 April 2011
A quality star can equal quite a mighty fine draw for a film, even with unpromising reviews. So it was that I picked up Boarding Gate, since it stars the great Asia Argento. Interesting cast members and a workable sounding plot, it could have been a contender. Unfortunately though, things don't really end up working out in any way here. Argento here plays a former prostitute, rekindling a steamy romance with a former lover, all the while pursuing her own dodgy dealings. Ultimately she ends up deeper than she can handle in somewhat of a muddle of deception and murder, leading to meagre near glimmers of suspense. It has some solid potential as a set up, a strong willed and highly sexual lady, bringing all her charms to bear on the task of making her own way in a world that seeks to constrain and control but finding out that things are a whole lot trickier than she first imagined, it should be sexy, thrilling and perhaps a little sad. Flickers of all these faintly pass through the film as it lazily swims to its pat conclusion but nothing ever really works. The writing is for the most part undercooked, some sexual dialogue carries a mild frisson but thats about it, for the most part characters are vapid, motivations are ill considered and plotting is a dull haze, inconsequential and lacking in interest. Direction is similar to the writing (Olivier Assayas responsible for both), that is to say weak. Acting wise only Argento stands out, mixing tough and sizzling with shades of vulnerability she does pretty well, especially in scenes with Michael Madsen as her ex lover, who comes off with some dignity by playing the same way he seems to in most of his work. They have very little chemistry so the scenes aren't hot in the way they were intended, but they are slightly interesting. Carl Ng and Kelly Lin are bland and forgettable as the other notable players in the drama, while some amusement for alt rock fans is to be found in a cameo appearance from Kim Gordon, who doesn't have much to do but is somewhat fun to see anyway. Not really much more to say about this one as its a bit tricky to get too much into without spoilers and not much of note happens anyway, for me it was mostly a bit of a dog, suspense free and boring though pleasant enough to look at. I've seen a lot worse, but for being overwhelmingly underwhelming, 3/10.
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Asia Argento is all you need to know
sitenoise9 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
If it weren't for the smoldering performance of Asia Argento, and I'm not talking about the parts where you get to see her tattoos, I would admit defeat and zero this one out. I don't know why the film is called Boarding Gate; the plot is thin and confusing; Michael Madsen can whisper and grunt all he wants and nobody is going to mistake it for good dramatic acting; the film seems to meander along in prologue mode for about forty-five minutes and then, BANG! somebody dies with great surprise; despite the fact that the location moves to a new country, the film doesn't seem to go anywhere; and not understanding the story won't prevent me from saying with confidence that the ending is lame.

Ms. Argento doesn't need to act. She lives the role of Sandra, relying on her naturally scary-cool charisma and complex heart to suck us in to her character—the script isn't going to do it. She's transcendentally tough and vulnerable at the same time. From one moment to the next she is spitting razor sharp barbs and then crying but never weeping, never weak. The incomplete script works to her advantage here. It's not clear why she is attracted so deeply to either of her love interests with the net result that she appears twisted, courting danger and abuse to feel alive.

Contrary to what the movie posters might lead one to believe, Argento doesn't parade around the entire film in her underwear. There's one quick shot of her being thrown to a bed by her lover where upon she delivers the most authentic and erotic response I've seen in a movie, and there's an extended scene in Madsen's apartment where she's in and out of her dress a couple times. The latter is the best scene in the film, not for its limited display of flesh but for the warped cruelty in their battle of wits—mirrored in stop/start kinky sex they never manage to get very far along with for one reason or another.

Boarding Gate is billed as a thriller and, given its writer/director's resumé, is supposedly about how selfishly cruel and inhuman the world of contemporary multi-national capitalists can be. Blah blah blah. Who's arguing that point? What emerges from the film is a portrait of a modern day neo-femme-fatale who doesn't dress nice or comb her hair trying to juggle a couple of corporate wackbirds (I stole that word from somebody) to her meager advantage and gets a lesson in betrayal along the way. The action parts of the film, the parts where people run around and shoot guns and stuff, aren't interesting at all. The thriller parts, the parts where mystery and suspense are supposed to propel the film, aren't articulated very well. It's the parts where the players settle down to talking smack on one another to gain psychological advantage that are red hot brutal good. If you are a fan of Asia Argento and like your eroticism dark and implied, or are interested in finding out what Argento is capable of as an actress, then check out Boarding Gate. If you are looking for a good thriller, or a film with a little action and good production values, look somewhere else.
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seems realistic but not quiet if leaving emotional impact aside...
beregic11 January 2009
Asia Argento looks great indeed but, i would not call her a "talented" actress here as more as a feminist pervert(coming to this, another reviewermade me laugh with his views on what talent is... he must have hadclearly became horny after watching the soft BSD porn scenes).Michael Madsen is very much himself here and a character interesting to watch...

now the subject manner is somehow quiet similar to ".45" while not taking it to the extremes. starts as a thriller, then it evolves into a feminist rant(regardless if one considers it right or wrong) but, towards the end evolves into something else...likely that is why this feature got quiet a lower rating then i would have expected. i am assuming that the last 1/3 of the movie seems to be a...different movie in itself.

regardless there ARE a few original scenes (both soft-porn as much as artistic ones) that do captivate a viewer.obviously, i would recommend this ONLY for mature audiences and depending where anyone's sexual orientation lies.

i am also going to venture into guessing that there will be a sequence to this feature as well.
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Another Masterpiece from Michael Madsen
stephengraley18 April 2008
You have to start worrying when you see that Michael Madsen is leading the Cast of any movie. I wont go through the list of shame that is his movie career.

I watched 45 minutes and still was not sure what really was going on. The movie consisted of a love hate relationship between Madsen and Argento, Which basically was Madsen insulting her, threatening violence and generally treating her like dirt. She on the other hand loves him, then shes doesn't, then she does, the she desires him, then she loves him again......whats wrong with you woman !!!!

The Script is awful, lousy soundtrack and pointless aggressive and crude sexuality which i believe was added to entice some viewers as the movie has little else to offer. I would have given the movie a 1 but it just about managed a 2 with a little excitement in the last 20 minutes. It did actually answer one question in the final few minutes but i am not going to share that, i will make you suffer for the full movie like i did.
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Need condom for eyeballs to watch this
compmend27 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Asia Argento is a sexy beautiful woman who likes to run around naked which isn't a bad thing in it's self, but, when her character talks about all the guys she serviced, and to see her with Michael Madsen and an Asian guy in the present tense of the movie, it made me feel like I needed a condom over my eyes to watch this movie, like a disease was going to rub off on me or something.

The movie felt like it was going for a love triangle/drama/action/??? plot, it just seemed to go everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The acting was great, the plot, not so great. The director needs to at least pick a genre and practice, practice, practice, before trying to do something as complicated as this again, because they are not very good at it obviously.
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Only people with zero taste could dislike this inventive and interesting film..
alisoncolegrooveq7 May 2008
...possibly due to a diet of putrefied garbage, - some of the criticisms of the film are precisely the things that make it so brilliant and engaging..particularly the soundtrack which is superbly understated, very cool in a minimalist electronic style and used only at very critical moments (something Hollywood, with its blustery,instructive , pompous and intrusive boring scores would do well to pay heed to.. it's time to revisit the way music was used minimally and more effectively in the 60's and 70's) Yes there is some silliness in the sexual relationship between Masden and Argento..but there's a realism in the surrounding silence and a sense of lost souls in a bleak and empty corporate world...something Syrianna also evoked quite well - a sense of the moral vacuum that business operates above.

Be deeply suspicious of the intelligence and taste of reviewers who diss this film, it has a lot of original and interesting things to offer - Argento in particular is brilliant in the main role.
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I'd Like an hour and a half of my life back
Goettschwan2 September 2007
A quick resumé: Almost nonexistent, badly chosen musical soundtrack, steady-cam filming done without the steady but with lots of coffee and a hyperactive cameraman, NO plot, and nothing ever really happens. The film goes from one dialog into another, sounding hollow, never achieving depth, never creating the illusion that you really are inside a cobweb of conspiracy, and the everybody-has-an-affair-with-everybody is just a boring excuse to show the main actress in nice underwear. (which, combined with her rusty voice certainly is nice, but nothing to base a movie on) The high point for me is the opening scene, and the film just degraded from there to a point where I just wanted to quit the film about 45 minutes into the story. I regret sitting it out.
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She's impressive
TheFilmBabes12 May 2008
Asia Argento delivered such a powerful brave performance in "Boarding Gate". I had never heard of her before this film, and I am blown away her her beauty and talent! This was a very good film, great story line, great performances by the other actors and could've been very good with out Asia, but the two combined really makes something powerful and brilliant to watch.

I HIGHLY recommend seeing this movie. It's kinda twisted, OK, more than kinda! And is one of those films that you can't stop thinking about days after seeing it.

Not for kids, but men, women, young and old will enjoy
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different, in a good way
RBigs12 May 2008
I found this movie to be quite refreshing. I am so sick of the ho-hum cookie cutter movies out there right now. This one breaks the mold and stands out as great! The lead character is nuts, but gorgeous and carries the film really well. Great casting decision with her. She brings energy and boldness to the screen, I was very impressed. This movie is one for everyone in my opinion, it appeals to all movie tastes with action, drama, romance and suspense. Also appealing to the travel enthusiast, as they take you to many beautiful places throughout the world. If you couldn't catch this one in the theater, I suggest you add it to your DVD shelf! Very cool film all around!
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Impressed and Entertained
choul12 May 2008
I was impressed with this movie for many reasons: The talent was brilliant, taking this film from good to great. The story was unique and entertaining, while remaining unpredictable. The filming was very well done. I enjoyed traveling along with the characters and watching the scenery.

The female lead plays a mistreated woman who's ready to take over the power in this twisted relationship. I think there is a lot of truth to her situation and most will find it very relatable. Thank you to the makers of this film, I really enjoyed watching it.

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Not For The Average Joe
vnums3 April 2008
If you're an average guy like me and enjoy good acting, good plot, good scripts, novel ideas, or being entertained, you might want to skip this one. I was honestly bored from the opening credits to the very end, but tried to give the film a chance, and watched it all the way through -- only to be disappointed at every turn.

The acting was unbelievably sub par, but I'm not sure if the actors themselves are to blame or if it was the ridiculously wooden and horrible dialog coupled with an even worse script. The plot is very vague and underdeveloped and I think the audience is supposed to derive some kind of deeper meaning from it, or be able to look past it in some way, but honestly to do so would be a waste of time.

The film has a kind of crude sexuality to it which doesn't serve any purpose other than to show off some tattoos and lingerie. No one seems to have any motivation except making money off of some kind of "investment" deal that is never really explained. The connections between the characters aren't terribly clear, and there is little to no character development.

This is either some kind of sub-culture film meant for a very specific audience to enjoy or absolute crap, but you can decide for yourselves.

I gave it a 2 because it is definitely one of the worst films I've ever seen, but probably not THE worst.
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