Bad Boys for Life
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A slow start and hackneyed/ uncompelling characters give way to a smart, violent finale with a twist but be aware that is is nothing to do with witches or the supernatural; it's a bloody action thriller about the hunt for a ruthless, genetically engineered superhuman.
The care and attention lavished on the texture of the time and place, and the largely affable central performances cannot hide the fact that all the good stuff in this film is second and third-hand, and the whole thing is defaced by infantile racist and misogynist lapses (that seem oblivious and cartoonish rather than calculated and malicious,) which excuses them not at all. It could have been a nice holiday in 1969 and it ends up vandalized by its own director.
Poorly-directed, derivative shite with no specifically Indonesian character to distinguish it from a hundred 'Evil Dead' clones. clearly made as generic as possible for an international market; designed to be nothing; designed to fail.
I feel like Shudder (who produced this) may have meddled in the production at some point, since the set-up is so muted and morbidly amusing, and the third act is so conventional, with Stênio's deceased wife Odette attacking his family in familiar demon mode and using all the powers of darkness. It;s a fun film but I thought the idea of 'betraying the secrets of the dead would lead to a more elegant reprisal, and not just slamming doors, flashing knives, and possessed babysitters.The Sao Paolo setting and good performances carry it off but it's a pity it devolves into a domestic dispute since the societal violence and choas seems to be a string factor early in the film. Stênio is a refreshingly despicable anti-hero.
Forget the good reviews, it's just more Wan-style cliches and jumscares: the same spidery-fingered demon bellowing 'YOUR SOUL' the same broken-necked walk, tricks with dumb-waiters and dolls houses, rotating crucifixes, and no idea about the Catholic Church (nuns can't hear confession, people: it's a sacrament) and worst of all, the focus is a bunch of dull child-actors, so there isn't even anybody interesting to watch. Miranda Otto wastes her time in ridiculous one-eyed make-up.