30 May 2011

Angels of Evil - Out Now

Angels of Evil

Covering similar stylistic ground to 2008’s French crime biography Mesrine but lacking some of that movie’s emotional punch, this visually appealing but repetitive piece tells the true(ish) story of Milanese gang leader Renato Vallenzasca. The film follows the conventions of most mobster histories - and, it must be said, with no small amount of flair – as the rise and fall of yet another violent man is glamorously played out on screen.

The best aspects of the film come from the central performance of Kim Rossi Stuart as Vallenzasca, imbuing the character with charm and charisma as he goes from crime to prison to escape and then back again. The solid supporting cast - including Paz Vega and Moritz Belibtreau – strengthen the film’s overall quality but in truth there is little here that hasn’t been seen before. There is excitement, yes, and beautiful people and beautiful locations but what there is not is a sense of depth in the screenplay. As the production notes themselves attest “in this film you will not discover the truth about Vallenzasca’s case. Instead you will discover that there is more than one truth…” This ambiguity, shifting of morals and superficiality may have been Vallenzasca’s greatest strength but ultimately it is his – and the movie’s – greatest weakness too.