Wednesday, August 5, 2009

PLANET GRIFFIN'S Next Top Ten Movies That Move On Paper: Comics Undreamed Of! Pt. 17

PLANET GRIFFIN nears the end of the Next Top Ten! This time around, we move into hard boiled noir with a Peter Medak film that failed utterly at the box office, but got it's payback big time after it made the Home video/DVD market with a huge cult following. Ahead of its time? Definitely...


Unveiled back in 1993, GARY OLDMAN stars as Jack Grimaldi, a corrupt detective building a healthy nest egg from ratting out protected witnesses to the mob. Jack had his game running smoothly--- a beautiful wife (ANNABELLA SCIORRA), a ditzy mistress (JULIETTE LEWIS), and kept a somewhat decent realtionship with the local mob don (ROY SCHEIDER)--- until the day that Jack was asked to babysit a witness until the feds arrive... A witness who would change everything...

Mona DeMarkov (LENA OLIN), a Russian mob assassin whose abilities become a liability to the mob. Once Jack is ordered to 'rub out' DeMarkov, he finds his entire world crumbling around him (though you would never know it from the first encounter when Jack tells her that he sees 'nothing special'. Mona responds in a husky tone, '...Keep lookin'...')

This movie introduced one of the heaviest, and most underrated, hitwomen to ever grace celluloid! Mona DeMarkov plays up the character similar to Keyser Soze ( her reputation is known by many throughout the film; punctuated by nightmarish moments of her 'prowess'---).
One of the defining points of the film is that despite all of the wrong that Jack has done, you still root for him to win, even though you know he can't--- which makes the ending of the film (there are two twist endings, in fact) a real gut churner that will make you cheer and cry at the same time! Jack knows that crooked paths taken can be made straight, but the price to be paid is steep.
Bloody, vicious, and haunting, Romeo Is Bleeding is highly recommended.

Romeo is what I consider 'a man's comic made for a woman.', as Mona proves her rightful place in the pantheon of great movie hitmen! As far as strong female characters go, this one is a no-brainer!


John Aston said...

I totally saw this movie for the wrong reasons (Lena Olin topless), but walked away enjoying this bloody, effed-up film.

RodBuddah said...

Bloody and effed up is correct! I love this movie! Lena Olin made for one of the scariest assassin's I've seen since!

Also, the sequence where Gary Oldman is beginning to lose it on the pier (where his monologue begins overlapping into several voices at once) is pitch perfect! The only comic that ever nailed that type of frantic dialogue is part 1 of KRAVEN'S LAST HUNT! (Coincidence does play a small factor in that;))

Jay Potts said...

Never seen this one. Now I HAVE to.
Your description of Lena Olin's ruthlessness reminds me of Linda Fiorentino in "The Last Seduction."


RodBuddah said...

Ruthless ain't the WORD for what Lena's packing in this flick! I loved the Last Seduction, but even that movie didn't have Linda kicking someone's ass with her hands tied!

Er... Find this movie, Jay. I don't wanna spoil anything ;)