WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After mafia boss Angelo (Quinn) gets whacked, his loyal bodyguard Frankie (Stallone) heads right over to cutie Jennifer’s (Stowe) side. You see, unbeknownst to Jenny-Poo, she is actually Angelo’s real life daughter and Frankie believes that she will be next on the hit list. He, of course, vows to protect her, they gradually fall in love, disposable Mafiosos randomly pop up and…and…oh man…Sly…bro…what have you done?
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I’m a HUGE Sylvester Stallone fan and it saddens me to destroy his latest “straight to video” piece of junk, but a man’s gotta dom what a man’s gotta do. This predictable, boring and unfunny/romantic comedy failed on pretty much all counts. First of all, the film looked like it was shot in a week and consisted mainly of Stallone (in leftover GET CARTER suits) and Stowe shacked up in a house delivering “non witty” repartee. I’m all for formulaic candy at times, but the execution here was so stale that I was never engaged on any level. The love angle was flat, the comedy pathetic (when they go for the "fart jokes"-- you know it’s over), the subplots groan-inducing (that romance novel guy, the cheating husband…urgh) and every opportunity for physical action was wasted with conflict always being resolved in a premature micro-second. Was it in Stallone’s contract that he wouldn’t get down and dirty for this film? Sure felt like it.
And that’s not all folks. The movie was also filled with putrid acting from the secondary players, inane and juvenile plot turns, bad writing, lousy editing (that last block had me hurling) and lastly, a strong case of NOT KNOWING WHEN TO END! Any bright sides? Well, it should be noted that this was Anthony Quinn’s last performance (RIP) and he definitely deserved better than this GODFATHER-light role. ZORGA!!! Stallone was also endearing as usual and had me chuckling once or twice (the migraine bit) while Stowe was good in her role as well and still looked all Stowed up (loved the bootie close up…body double?). But the best ingredient here was Bill Conti’s amazing score (he also did the ROCKY score) which acted as a guide (by telling us how we should feel) and was way too good for this crud. Other than that, AVENGING ANGELO was a total waste and had me uttering this line as the end credits rolled: “Get me The Cobra”.
Director’s Commentary (feature length): Director Martyn Burke comes in to talk about the set up of specific scenes but mostly goes on to deconstruct these said scenes on a thematic level. I did enjoy hearing his feelings regarding the cast and his sharing of behind the scenes trivia, but on a whole, didn’t find the commentary all that interesting. Since the movie was "bah", the commentary, which was mainly about exploring the narrative’s substance, was also "bah".
Featurette (~ 22 minutes): This feature takes us on set in Sicily for the shooting of the finale. We get to see Sly orchestrate a light fight scene, fool around with Stowe and witness the director at work. This reel was somewhat interesting, but blandly edited and overlong. You’ll feel like you were on set where there’s all kinds of waiting in between takes before something INTERESTING happens. A so-so feature.
Writers Interview (~ 10 minutes): This feature has the film’s two writers Will Aldis and Steve Mackall talking about the roots of the screenplay, specific scenes and the casting. Both men were obviously very happy to be there and I appreciated their enthusiasm, but it was a tad sad to hear all the good intentions they had, taking into account the end result. Just goes to show that most people don’t set out to make a bad film, it just ends up that way some times. An ok feature.
Trailers: The film's trailers were hilarious as the Domestic Trailer sold it as a hardcore action film while the International Trailer sold it as a full-on comedy. AVENGING ANGELO was neither-- gotta love marketing!
Don’t be fooled by the box cover art, this is NOT an action flick! It’s a DOA romantic comedy. Shite, I’ve seen Jaclyn Smith TV movies of the week with more pizzazz than this sleeping pill. Sly, did you even read the script before saying “yes” to this garbage? AVENGING ANGELO was simply an embarrassment. There’s no two ways around it. The DVD itself was decent from an audio/visual standpoint and the extras were “whatever”, but on the whole, I say skip this disk and do what I did instead: AVENGING ANGELO is a disease and COBRA is the cure. See what I’m saying? Now that's a freakin' evening!