Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

That Milla Jovovich ain’t exactly a bashful girl now is she, and good for her.  The young woman with nipples so large they need their own zip code and blue eyes that can cut through steel is the star of the fascinating, if somewhat repulsive revenge film ‘.45’.  Now don’t let that slinky box cover fool you, whatever movie they are trying to push with that suggestive pose, fishnet stockings and large gleaming gat, this ain’t that movie.  No sir, this is a film about physical abuse, manipulation and mental pathology.

Apparently something bad has happened to Big Al (Angus MacFadyden).  His girlfriend Kate (Jovovich) is doing an on the spot interview / monologue about what she liked about the guy and his certain charms.  Al is a low level New York City gun runner and independent purveyor of appliances and outerwear.  He also has this Scottish accent, which is odd since most natural born New Yorkers don’t have Scottish accents as far as I know.  But as Al’s mom explains to us in her monologue about her son, after she and Al’s pops broke up, the old man took Al to his homeland of Scotland where the boy would spend a large chunk of his developmental years, and as such, he never lost accent.  I’m going to assume that Angus MacFadyen tried to lose the accent, but decided it was way more trouble than it was worth.  Actually the accent adds to Big Al’s ‘charms’.  Big Al and Kate have one of these passionate, slap you around type relationships that we often see portrayed about sub culture New Yorkians, and everything seems to be working out between this pair of dysfunctional love birds, but damn does Al hate Puerto Ricans.  I mean he really hates Puerto Ricans.

When Jose (Vincent Laresca) floats in Al’s bar hangout and touches Kates hair, a drunken Al convinces himself that he just saw a full fledged orgy.  When the couple gets home, in a very long and brutal scene, Al proceeds to beats the hell out of poor Kate.  This doesn’t sit well with Kate’s best friend Vic (Sarah Strange) a lesbian who is in love with Kate or Al’s buddy Reilly who is also in love with Kate.  Also in the mix is Kate’s domestic abuse case worker Liz (Aisha Tyler) who also seems to have some interest in our little manipulative minx.  Something bad does happen to Al and Kate isn’t the one who did it to him, well, not really, and therein lays the mystery in ‘.45’.

‘.45’ was a fairly interesting film, mainly riding on the incredibly manic performance of Angus MacFadyen as the completely vile and repulsive Big Al.  Al farts, beats women, uses the N-word, uses the F-word, has a derogatory term for pretty much every ethnic group on the planet, has a fairly unique view on how to avoid getting a woman pregnant and threatens a priest. Well, he probably had good reason to threaten the priest.  To describe MacFadyen’s performance, he found the top, went completely over it, found another top and went over that one too.  Jovovich takes a quick break from making bad action flicks and slaying zombies to play basically the same role she played in those films, but even if the lovely woman with the extra large nipples can only play one note, damn if she doesn’t play that note well.  Overall the movie had very nice cast and all the players did their parts justice.  There was a little love scene between Milla and Aisha in which I was kinda hoping Aisha would pop one out too… That’s not so wrong is it?  But alas, my simple hopes for that magical moment were not satisfied.

Gary Lennon, making his directing and screenwriting debut, shows a high level skill in handling his actors and the camera, though there were quite a few editing glitches that could be easily caught, like a character taking a seat in one angle, then in the next angle standing only to take a seat again.  These are the kinds of things you don’t expect to see in a professionally done work such as this one.  I’m also not quite sure what the tone the director was attempting to sell us with this film either, if any.  The relationship between Al and Kate was a bit uneven as Kate didn’t take much guff off of Al, until he kicked her ass, and then she started behaving like the typical battered woman.  But it was made fairly obvious that Al has been beating her for some time.  Of course this time he cut her hair.  You’d have to watch it find the relevance to that.

‘.45’ was actually a pretty good movie with good performances, especially by Angus MacFadyen who put his gears into overdrive.  A bit odd and sloppy in parts, with a choppy narrative, but still worth a watch.

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