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  Publicity Stills of ".45"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Genre: Crime/Drama
Director: Gary Lennon
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Angus MacFadyen, Stephen Dorff, Aisha Tyler
RunTime: 1 hr 38 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: R21 (Coarse Language)

Opening Day: 1 Feb 2007


Ed is a small-time crook and a drug dealer who beats his girlfriend. To get revenge she seduces his friends into framing him for murder.

Movie Review:

The synopsis above sounds like the movie's a cross between To Die For and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. Be warned though that it's actually miles away in quality of either movies, in the southern direction.

Milla Juvovich's last cinematic outing in Ultraviolet was a disaster. Superb effects, cool gadgets, and even the beautifully athletic Milla herself can't save the movie from its ridiculous action sequences (yes it's science-fiction, but you have to see it to believe), and from an even more ridiculous, flimsy plot. Tackling a more mature theme this time round, in streets of crime in Hell's Kitchen, you would've expected that Milla could shine given a more familiar theme and setting.

Written and directed by first timer Gary Lennon, this is however one confused movie which couldn't decide just what it wanted to be. Does it pass off to be a crime thriller? No. A whodunnit? No. Something sexy? No. Or how about a movie with a stark message on battery? Not quite.

I'm all against abuse, sexual or otherwise, and violence against women, but the movie didn't seem to want to add focus to this theme, providing only a cursory look into the issue, probably just to allow Milla's pretty face to be made up into a swollen mess. And it takes the last 20 minutes before picking up the pace and mixing everything into the brew for the very hasty finale, having the cast going pretty much against character without providing ample justification for sudden shifts in attitude. It might be intriguingly sexy in the beginning, but the lacklustre dialogue and the dwelling on some uninteresting scenes made the pace very trying, and loses steam midway through the story.

The language is something that needs getting used to, especially if you're not a fan of gritty crime dramas, or Tarantino. Every sentence arguably is peppered by a string of colourful expletives, and the occasional pillow talk, but rather than bringing out perhaps the uncouthness of the characters, it came across as rather lazy, having the characters spew curse words for the sake of doing so.

Telling the story of two small time crooks, Kat (Juvovich) and Big Al (Angus Macfadyen, last seen in SawIII, who put on quite a bit of weight here), I thought if it concentrated on the potential of its abuse plot, it might turn out well, given Juvovich's performance as a tough woman with a weak will to leave her man when things aren't going right. It'll allow for an exploration into reasons why sometimes it's difficult for a woman to leave her man, though in this movie, she's beholden to his erm, member, living in the illusion that she's in love. And you wonder why some hot chicks end up in unhappy relationships with guys like Al.

With the supporting cast of Stephen Dorff, Aisha Tyler and Sarah Strange playing friends of Kat, it could have been a tight knitted drama. But alas it opted for the rushed swings in character motivation which made little sense, in order to wrap up the movie the way it did.

Movie Rating:

(Yet another disaster for Milla Juvovich, .45 is strictly for her fans)

Review by Stefan Shih


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