Reviewed byTdSmth5Vote: 6/10/10
We first meet a prisoner named Vallanzasca in the 80s. He tells usabout his childhood were early on he, his little brothers, sister, andfriends started stealing things and selling them. One day he finds oneof his brothers dead. In adulthood he and his team start robbingarmored cars. But he's a peaceful criminal who avoids violence. Theyhave guns just to intimidate people. Eventually he ends up in jail.
When he's out he he reunites with his gang. They club, do drugs, drink,women, etc. He eventually meets a girl with whom he has a son. At oneclub they run into the big crime boss in Milan, named Turatello. Hehappens to be with Vallanzasca's sister, whom he hasn't seen in years.So they reunite as well. They quickly start the business of robbingbanks and start provoking Turatello by robbing his casino. But nowVallanzasca buddies start getting violent, they kill people against hiswishes. They start kidnapping rich folk and other higher stake crimes.
They plan their most complex heist yet--robbing the tax office indowntown Milan. While Vallanzasca is inside the office impersonatingsome high officer his friends are spotted outside by cops and bulletsstart flying. There are victims on both sides and now the gang has tolay low. At a checkpoint Vallanzasca is shot in the butt and eventuallycaught. This leads to a longer stint in jail, the same jail whereTuratello is now. And what starts with some tense moments between thetwo ends up in a great friendship with Turatello taking Vallanzascaunder his wing. There are trials and lots of people turn againstVallanzasca. He's not reluctant to use violence anymore and throughTuratello takes revenge on all those who flipped. He also gets marriedin jail as scores of women fall for him. He becomes a public figure, amedia darling constantly taunting the police. But the cycle of violencecatches up with him as Turatello isn't immune.
During a transfer Vallanzasca who's always promised he'll escape,actually manages to do so. His family offer support, he ends up givinga radio interview, but at this point he's subject of the largestmanhunt in Italy.
Angel of Evil is unmistakably an Italian movie--it's loud as no onespeaks but only screams. It's much more interested in these fastscreaming litanies than in showing us some action. And it's moreconcerned with the several jail stints than with the actual crimes. AnItalian version of Heat this is not unfortunately. Initially things arepretty confusing, scenes are short, characters aren't established,except for the lead. Once things calm down a bit, about an hour intothe movie, you also start liking the movie a bit more.
The second major weaknesses of this film is that it tries sodesperately hard to establish the lead as a charismatic brilliantcriminal, angelic leader of thugs, ladies man, seducer of the entirenation, master manipulator of individuals and masses. Instead oflooking like an Italian member of a gang they want him to be someAmerican super individualistic cowboy. And thus they missed anopportunity to make a great action thriller crime drama centered on agroup of interesting criminals. We learn nothing about his crew, wecan't even tell them apart let alone learn their names. Some of thismay have to do with the fact that the lead actor was also involved inthe script. This movie could have been strong as a buddy/team crimesaga.
Angel of Evil is two hours long but it does feel much longer. Based onreal life events, this could have been an outstanding movie, but theyreally missed their chance here.
Reviewed bygrantssVote: 4/10/10
Gritty, but not that engaging.
Had the makings of a good Scarface-like crime-drama, but ultimately wasdisappointing. Story just wasn't that enthralling, or engaging. Ispretty much a join-the-dots blow-by-blow account of a crime lord'slife. Little depth to the characters.
Has some good action scenes and is quite gritty, but the movie lackssubstance.
Decent performances, however. Kim Rossi Stuart is great in the leadrole. Supporting cast are solid too. Moritz Bleibtrau and Paz Vega willbe familiar names to many viewers.
A biography of Milanese bank robber Renato Vallanzasca.