Saturday, 20 August 2011

Just watched: Elevator to the Gallows (2010)

This is a remake of a 1958 French film (which I haven’t seen but it has 8 out of ten on IMDB) and while it tries to be sophisticated and intelligent, it’s a fairly empty tale.

A man (Abe Hiroshi) kills his lover’s husband. But a minor mistake quickly escalates, and he finds himself stuck in an elevator. Meanwhile, his car is stolen by a cop who is following a crime boss and... well, it’s all very complicated.

At first, it does feel a lot like the two stories are entirely unconnected, which makes it quite frustrating to watch. Then the lover (Kichise Michiko) has some sort of dream sequence halfway through, and I turned off.

The next day, I gave it another try and the second half does get better once the murder(s) are discovered and the police slowly tie the two crimes together but even at its best, this is a fairly mundane film. The acting is okay (Kitagawa Keiko makes a good impression as the cop’s girlfriend) but the directing is slow and ponderous. Shots are held for too long – far longer than necessary. The photography isn’t interesting enough that you appreciate the chance to linger over the lighting or composition etc, so I found myself getting quite impatient.

That’s the second crime thriller I've seen this week that was all style and no substance. And, frankly, not much style. Pity.

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