Monday, January 13, 2014

Avenging Angelo (2002) Review:

Sylvester Stallone isn't the actor to make many comedies. It's been proven in the past that he's tried many a time to shed his action star image by taking on a role that is full out comedy. It seems like though the only kind of comedic role he can play is either a role that involves action or is a parody of an action role. Stallone's best performance is from Tango & Cash (1989) where he partnered up with Kurt Russell as two professional cops who do things completely opposite but team up to take down a common enemy. That's his comedic action role. This movie is his parody of an action role.

Frankie & Jennifer
In this what is of sorts, a comedy revenge film, Stallone plays a bodyguard named Frankie, who is assigned the job of protecting his boss' daughter, Jennifer played by Madeleine Stowe. The catch is, Frankie's boss, Angelo (the late Anthony Quinn) did not tell Jennifer that he is in fact her biological father and would only know when Angelo passed on. Thus creating complications. At first, Jennifer denies such a claim but soon learns that Frankie knows more than she ever could, making her come to grips with the reality and wanting revenge of Angelo's death. The film is directed and written by some not so well known people that will have viewers leery about deciding to watch it - that's understandable.

But to be honest, it really isn't all that bad. It's by no means the next biggest laugh out loud film but it does have its moments. First off, here's why this movie is more or less an action parody; how the Italian language is perceived. There is a mob boss called Malatesta - mala is the word for bad and testa is the word for head in Italian. In other words, he's a headache. Of course, if you don't know Italian, that's not the viewer's fault but the point is that the writers did incorporate some sense of humor into the language.

The majority of the action that goes on here is all shootings since the plot revolves around mobs, bosses and hits. That's about it, there's one fight scene but it isn't anything being too excited over. But here's the films strongest point, the characters. The way Stallone's character was written has a very good memory and it's funny to watch him ramble off a bunch of information that Jennifer didn't know about or to prove someone else wrong because they were lying. Frankie is that good of a bodyguard. What's also enjoyable is how Frankie disposes of the hitmen that try to kill Jennifer. It's done so nonchalantly that it helps make that scene, that much more comical. But in all honesty, not every scene does its job. A lot of the comedy is hit or miss and that's where the film falls flat.

Mi Querido Asesino (TV show)  A scene from the Franchise Pictures release "Avenging Angelo."
Angelo (Anthony Quinn)
Madeleine Stowe does an alright job playing Jennifer because she has no clue how to deal with the mafia. But her character also lacks intelligence on some very well known things – things that involve common sense. It's insulting. As Anthony Quinn's last film, his performance is appropriate since he's Italian he plays what is famously known as the "God father" portrayal. And for what it's worth, it seems like he went out with a smile, which is good, since this film is dedicated to him. Lastly, Bill Conti’s music to the film is good too. It has some very sweet piano tunes and goofy Italian related themes. However, the insertion of contemporary music wasn't always needed. It felt too much like the movie was being directed as another genre. For a comedy starring Stallone, it's alright.

It is by far from being an excellent comedy but it does work in a number of scenes. It is more of a revenge parody than it is an actual comedy.

Points Earned --> 6:10

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