6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
A good film that could have been a great film., 10 Feb. 2005
A film of spiraling depression. Ricky Giovinazzo plays an ex war vetran struggling to make ends meet with his nagging wife and mutated baby.
The film opens with Giovinazzo having a flash back to the war. The scene is crudly shot to say the leased, comprised of stock footage, and what looks like people jumping over flour bombs. Thoughout this opening Giovinazzo reads from a crass, unimaginative script, telling us about the "Madness of War." The script suffers in these respects throughout the film, further hampered by Giovinazzo's wooden delivery (This is a shame as he plays a likeable, yet dim-witted lead.)
We cut to Giovinazzo's flat where we learn of his reaccuring nightmares, (the effect of the atrocities projected on his face works excellently, giving a trully nightmarish impression.) and meet his nightmarish baby. (I couldn't decide who I would leased prefer to be related to, the bloated, nagging wife or "toxic" baby.) The scenes with the baby seem to be lifted straight from Eraserhead and seem a little out of place.
Our lead is given an eviction notice, so he takes to the streets of New York to find a job to pay the rent. This is what most of the film is dedicated to, Buddy Giovinazzo foucuses in, and attempts to magnify the violent, seedy and drug infested side of the city as he follows Ricky G. What we meet on the way is the usual ghetto despots, and druggies (some of which are acted so poorly they verge on the ridiculous, and with such a "cheesy" soundtrack you would be forgiven in thinking that at times this was being played for laughs.) This has been portrayed far more effectivly in films like Taxi driver and Bascketcase, where the Directors imply the tone, rather than adding a moralising monologue.
The end of the film is worth the money for the DVD on its own. After failing miserably to gain employment our hero is driven to stealing a ladies handbag (que more sanctimony "Ive been in the jungle." ie, concrete.) And, unfortunatly, gets beaten by a loan shark and his goons. But Ricky G manages to conceal a gun and kill the aggressors, and totally lose his mind in the process. Now equipped with a demented, God-head type ego, he goes back home, shoots his family and puts the babies corpse in the oven before putting a bullet in his head.
The final scene is very stark and unflinching, the realism just about compensates for the clumsy sanctimony and poorly acted stereotypes.