Sunday, February 22, 2009

The End of Violence

The End of Violence; Drama, France/ USA/ Germany, 1997; D: Wim Wenders, S: Bill Pullman, Gabriel Byrne, Loren Dean, Andie MacDowell

Mike Max is a famous Hollywood producer who constantly makes violent action movies. His wife Page is bored, and when a stunt woman gets injured on the set of his new film, Mike visits her in the hospital so that she won't sue him. One evening, two criminals kidnap Mike and contemplate if they should kill him and steal his Mercedes or not. While they argue, their victim gets loose and kills them. Technician Ray spots the whole event on his camera, one of many he placed across the town to tackle violence. Mike wakes up at some Mexicans and learns that violence is not the only solution from them. FBI also infiltrates his life and kills Ray, while Page is happy that Mike has ran away. He arrives at the Pacific Ocean and contemplates about his change.

This thin and average story is sometimes a real hassle. It's not at all clear what the director Wim Wenders intended to make here: for an essay about anti-violence, it doesn't at all have any connection dots with the characters, whereas the film is too conventional for some metaphysical experience. It's true that a story that remains a mystery isn't a flaw. But it doesn't help "The End of Violence" because all other ingredients are underdeveloped and empty anyway. There are sufficient films who have excellent scenes, yet here the main problem is that almost all moments are lukewarm, pale, without humor or energy. Considering that he plays a rather vague character, producer Mike Max who was afraid of violence in his childhood, actor Bill Pullman is surprisingly good. Wenders tried to make a story about him when he changes and rejects violence, but he went off to linger in everything and reject any kind of linear narration, which is why in the end very few will manage to understand the film.


No comments: