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The Independent Critic

Kim Rossi Stuart, Filippo Timi and Moritz Bliebtreu
Michele Placido
Renato Vallanzasca (book), Carlo Bonini (book), and 11 other credits
Rated R
125 Mins.
Fox World Cinema
An Italian Job: Making of Vallanzasca; Deleted and Extended Scenes

 "Angel of Evil" Review 
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One of Italy's most infamous killers, Renato Vallanzasca is serving four life sentences for the murder of multiple police officers and armed robbery.

This is his story.

Widely opposed by Vallanzasca's victims, Vallanzasca (Angel of Evil in the U.S.) stars Kim Rossi Stuart as the notorious ladies' man and escape artist who during the 70's fronted the Banda della Comasina, a Milan-based gang that would eventually expand their efforts into kidnapping family members of the wealthy.

Oh, and they partied. A lot.

Stuart gives a tour-de-force as Vallanzasca, making Angel of Evil a watchable film even if this doesn't happen to be your kind of flick. It's understandable why Vallanzasca's victims have been upset about the film, because Angel of Evil is the kind of film that glorifies the "bad guy" and has you rooting for him all the way. While director Michele Placido doesn't quite turn him into a Dillinger style folk hero, there's no question that Angel of Evil portrays Vallanzasca from a more romanticized perspective.

In addition to Stuart's out of this world performance, stage star Filippo Timo's turn as childhood friend Enzo brings to mind Jeremy Renner's terrific performance from last year's The Town. Moritz Bleibtreu is terrific in a relatively brief appearance, and Francesco Scianna delivers the goods as the head of a rival gang.

Angel of Evil is based upon Vallanzasca's own book, a fact likely contributing to the film's glossy yet authentic feeling dialogue. The film is one of the first releases from the new Fox World Cinema, an effort by 20th Century Fox to bring more foreign cinema into the U.S. market. With its hardcore action and stylish thrills, Angel of Evil is a great introduction into foreign language crime thrillers for those who haven't quite had the guts to venture into films with subtitles.

Take a risk. You'll enjoy it.

Angel of Evil is rated R and is in Italian with English subtitles.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic