Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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This is a prequel to the film "In China They Eat Dogs" and, like the aforementioned film, the title has nothing to do with the movie. In this installment, the production values have been considerably raised as there is not more stunts, explosions, and special effects. Where the first walked the fine line between comedy and drama, this one essentially goes for laughs, and though most are forced rather than natural, there are still some truly funny moments of slapstick mayhem. The plot is thin and is really just a catalyst for the stars to reunite and do outrageous crimes that defy common sense. It gets repetitive after a while, and some parts are unintentionally funny due to horrible execution (the car through the theater was so fake), but it's a fun popcorn film that will make the time go by pleasantly, but don't expect much depth. Essentially a Hollywood film done Danish style.
The film is not a categorical Giallo as it is often suggested as being, but rather it's more of a entry into the Gothic horror canon, with a incredibly strong sense of mystery that keeps the viewer intrigued even when the pacing becomes sluggish. The film is not exploitative (as most giallo films are) but mature, intelligent, and effective. Indeed, there is no nudity and little violence is present as the picture's primary focus is its complex, labyrinthine mystery that truly surprises the viewer with its unexpected turns of the plot. The film is also heavy on atmosphere, artfully directed by the award-winning Pupi Avati (of "The Story of Boys and Girls" and "Incantato" fame), which really intensifies the mystery, making it not only it spellbinding but also horrific and terrifying at times (especially near the end). The debits I perceive is that the narrative is a tad drawn out and some of the characters aren't as developed as one would hope, but the mystery is so good that it's easily to look past all these minor quibbles. Highly recommended to those who liked slow-burning Gothic mysteries such as "Don't look Now".