Hollywood Flies

***

Reviewed by: Davros

Taking to the road in its many forms, Hollywood Flies is an odd mix. Blending elements from varied genres - crime thriller, road movie, noir - Fabio Segatori's picture is somewhat of an oddity.

Based on the novel Mosche A Hollywood, the film centres on brother and sister Luca (Antonio Cupo) and Martina (Bianca Guaccero), as they embark on a trip to Los Angeles. As they cross Death Valley, different plot strands soon become apparent and we are introduced to an array of characters that... wait for it... become entwined.

As casino robbers, Sean (Vinnie Jones) and Jamie (Brad Renfro), take Martina hostage, the chase is on for Luca to find the ransom money in time. What follows is a series of double crosses, particularly at the hands of an oddly chosen femme fatale (fashion model Caprice Bourret). Pursued by a wheelchair-using ex (Casper Van Dien) and a ruthless assassin, her part becomes important as the story progresses, but Caprice fails to convince. Surprisingly, Jones turns in the best performance with his snarling demeanour, swearing his way through scenes and highlighting a place for Lock Stock's finest.

Following the camera's not so subtle glide(s) across the desert soon becomes a chore, as Segatori runs his resources dry. Keeping the Italian flavour alive with the sibling protagonists, his overly stylised direction seems out of place, both on the screen and within the constraints of the story. A certain Mr Leone slotted himself nicely into American cinemas with an iconic crossover appeal still relevant today. In its televised form, Flies is beautifully shot - the snowy whites of Sean and Jamie's hideaway offer up the film's most intriguing plotline - showcasing a director who has plenty to offer.

Meandering between the daft and the enjoyable the film falters at times of drama and action. With source material that takes a satirical dig at Hollywood's pitfalls, it only hints at such subtleties, although it is greatly to Segatori's credit that he manages to drift between subplots without creating a convoluted mess.

Like the sparseness of its surroundings, Hollywood Flies is somewhat of an empty vessel.

Reviewed on: 09 Dec 2005
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A road trip through Death Valley becomes a kidnap double crossing stylefest.
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Director: Fabio Segatori

Writer: Luigi Ventriglia, Chiara Laudani, Roberto Scarpetti , Fabio Segatori , Aldo Lado, based on the novel by Alessandro Fabbri

Starring: Vinnie Jones, Brad Renfro, Casper Van Dien, Caprice Bourret, Bianca Guaccero, Antonio Cupo, Ian Alden

Year: 2004

Runtime: 88 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Canada

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