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Closure
DVD disk
09.18.2007 By: Quigles
Closure order
Director:
Dan Reed

Actors:
Gillian Anderson
Danny Dyer
Ralph Brown

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A man and woman seek retribution after being attacked in the woods by a group of elder thugs.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
What is it with revenge flicks having such promise and not being able to follow through on it? DEATH WISH, the film that started it all, was certainly a solid (if dated) picture, but since then there's been practically nothing of worth. THE PUNISHER had amazing potential, but ended up forgetting about the "punishing" part of its premise for most of the runtime. The recently released DEATH SENTENCE had the opposite problem, delivering the goods in terms of action, but trying too hard to be emotionally satisfying with its ridiculously overwrought melodrama. It seems the only way these types of films get the treatment they deserve is through hyper-stylized execution by way of directors like Quentin Tarantino (KILL BILL) and Chan-wook Park (the "Vengeance Trilogy"—OLDBOY, SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, LADY VENGEANCE).

Does CLOSURE change any of this? In a word, no. But surprisingly, it doesn't falter in the same ways that past films of this ilk have. Quite the contrary; it gets all that stuff right. And for its first half, I found myself invested far beyond I would've thought possible for a film that was not only rejected a theatrical release in the U.S., but was barely given the time of day back in its own country (the UK, where it was originally titled STRAIGHTHEADS). Its second half clarified why.

Lets examine, for instance, a scene in which one of the assailants explains—without any sort of provocation—the reasoning behind his crime. The only thing more illogical than why he's telling us this (since it's obviously not for the sake of the other characters... or good storytelling) is the explanation itself. It just doesn't make any f*cking sense.

As aware as I was of what writer/director Dan Reed was trying to do, the many unjustifiably ludicrous scenes really destroyed any sort of momentum the film previously had going for it. They turned what could've added up to a reflective and powerful look at how we deal with our grief, and if the desire for revenge overcomes that of our desire for peace within, into a display of disappointing shallowness. This potential greatness is evidenced further by the film's carefully nuanced yet brutal closing scene, which in turn ends up feeling wasted by the average revenge tale that surrounds it.

As far as acting goes, Danny Dyer does a decent job smoking pot and crying his way through most of the film, and Gillian Anderson pulls off a British accent very well. But the real interest here will be for those "X-Files" fans still salivating over that sexy redheaded Scully. Two words: tit shot. Have fun!
THE EXTRAS
The only available extra is a huge collection of Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Even without its missteps in the second and third act, CLOSURE would've had to struggle to find an audience regardless. After all, the bleak and exploitative nature of the picture doesn't exactly invite viewers to enjoy it. In theory, this could've worked to the film's benefit, with it delivering a twisted psychological character study purposely testing the viewers. The problem is, despite the filmmakers perfectly setting up the story to unfold this way, the rest of the movie loses focus through its laughable plot developments. Too bad.
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