Sunday, January 16, 2011

Messenger of Death (1988)

1st View
Format: DVD
Venue: Rivendell (Bronsothon)

The Good: This film has one of the most brutal sequences in a Bronson film I've ever seen. At the film's open, an entire family of Mormons is shotgunned without mercy or hesitation including three moms, one of whom is pregnant, and five young children. Not that child murder is a good thing, but it is incredibly effective as a powerful inciting action that immediately commands your attention.

The Bad: The rest of the film squanders your attention. It is boring, muddled, and by the time the true villain is revealed, his explanation as to his motivation makes not one lick of sense. And yes, I'd been watching movies for a long time and was very tired. But no one in the room had any clue how the pieces of this messy clunker fit together. But ultimately my biggest complaint is that BRONSON DOESN'T KILL A SINGLE PERSON!! How can you possibly cast Bronson and not afford him the privilege of capping at least one sucka?! FAIL.

The Weird: This film, like several others we'd watched today, was directed by J. Lee Thompson. While I generally like Thompson's collaborations with Bronson, this entry notwithstanding, I've noticed a trope of his that bothers me to no end. He routinely has important plot points discussed by characters in a crowded location framed in a medium you do. But then he has extras walk directly in front of the camera and obstruct the principal actors behind. I noticed it in 10 to Midnight because an extra actually stopped walking and completely obscured a speaking character from the audience as she kept talking. He does it again here several times and it is sensationally annoying.

Rating: 2/10 Atkins

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