Angels Of Evil [vallanzasca: Gli Angeli Del Male]

"OK"

Angels Of Evil [vallanzasca: Gli Angeli Del Male] Review


Stylish filmmaking and an energetic pace help carry us through this complicated true story from 1970s and 80s Italy. There are a few too many characters to keep straight, and some irrelevant sideroads, but it's a gripping ride.

As Renato Vallanzasca (Stuart) grew up, he graduated from petty crime to full-on bank robberies and kidnapping, eventually becoming one of Milan's most notorious criminals with a gang that included two childhood friends, Enzo and Sergio (Timi and Bliebtreu), and their "little sister" Antonella (Vega).

Through brazen crime sprees, prison terms and escapes over some 20 years, he fathers a child with Consuelo (Solarino) and befriends a suave archrival (Scianna). But his ongoing problem is whether or not he can trust those who are closest to him.

Renato's story is thoroughly gripping, yet the filmmakers continually add side characters and details. This means that the movie gallops full-speed without pausing for breath. We really want to get to know Renato better, and watch his relationships develop with old and new friends, plus a series of women who come and go rather suddenly. But the film is edited like an entire TV series chopped into feature-film length.

This means that it's often difficult to keep everyone straight, since we don't have time to get to know them. And it doesn't help that the men look the same, with their big 70s hair and moustaches, while the women change hair-dos in every scene. This gives the film the zing of realism, as the period design is vivid and earthy, with skilled camerawork, music and editing to match.

In the end, it's the fine performances that carry is through the story. Stuart is terrific, diving body and soul into a hugely demanding role. Timi's Enzo also emerges as a fascinating man who is troubled by the excesses of money and drugs. And Scianna is superb as the groovy charmer who knows that unity is more effective than competition. Everyone else kind of blurs into the background, which is a bit of a shame. Because focussing more tightly on Renato might have made them more interesting.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Michele Placido

Producer: Elide Melli

Contactmusic


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