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IN SHORT: Without a doubt; without a question, this is the worst film of the year
Before we get started, Cranky wants to tip his hat to the man or woman or team that wrote the trailer for this flick, because they actually made it sound interesting. They implied that there was a logical story, full of paranoia and conspiracy and all that good X-Files stuff. They should get a raise in salary for work above and beyond the call.
Between the trailer and the production notes, this is what The End of Violence is supposed to be about: Mike Max (Bill Pullman) is a high powered Hollywood producer. His forte is ultra violent flicks but, with the exception of one explosion seen during the titles, you'd never know. He edits his movies via cellular link, isolated on a cliff in Malibu where he has no contact with his staff and neglects his lovely wife Paige (Andie MacDowell) who sits in the bedroom reading books.
Meanwhile, the FBI is secretly setting up a surveillance network in Los Angeles, under the direction of Ray Bering (Gabriel Byrne). Ray is having second thoughts about the blatantly illegal and unconstitutional plan, so he e-mails a 400 page top secret file titled "400 page Top Secret FBI file" to Mike (not that there is anything more than a tenuous connection between the two men). Fearing the negative reaction should word of the plan leak to the public leak, Pullman is carjacked and taken away to be killed. Remember the surveillance system? Byrne sees it all. The disappearance of Pullman causes significant changes in the lives of all concerned, including the not dead BP who passes himself off as a Mexican (?) gardener.
That's what the movie is supposed to be about. What it is about is two hours. Give or take a couple of minutes. Once you realize that absolutely nothing in this disaster has a point, or is going anywhere, or is going to tell any logical story whatsoever, it is a very (as in extremely) painful two hours.
It must have sounded interesting when the idea was pitched but the way it all plays out, it sure doesn't look like there was any coherent idea where to take this thing once the pitch was made. There are other stories that play out here, including a stunt woman injured on set; a gangsta rapper doing the title song and the newbie cop investigating the case. But I could tell you everything there is to tell and nothing, repeat nothing, I say could ruin the piece if you were so inclined to shell out the bucks. I read the damned story before the lights went down and I still couldn't follow it.
Klein and Wenders deliberately wanted to keep the various individual stories apart which, for the most part, they did. The problem is that each of those individual stories are so grossly underdeveloped that the actors have virtually nothing to develop. There is nothing to move 'em from point A to point B. I know I'm writing like a film student, but only a film student could like this thing (and the two behind me at the preview screening walked out swearing that there was no God).
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The End Of Violence, he would have paid . . .
The End of Violence makes Batman and Robin look like Shakespeare.
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