Angels Of Evil Review

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A biographical look at the escapades of Milanese bank robber Renato Vallanzasca.


Michele Placido reunites with Romanzo Criminale star Kim Rossi Stuart for this chronicle of the life of Milanese mobster Renato Vallanzasca. Flashing back from a 1980s prison cell, the action recalls Jean-François Richet’s Mesrine duology. But Placido strings events together rather than delving into Vallanzasca’s psyche or placing the Banda della Comasina in its socio-political context. Rossi Stuart is dangerously genial as he muscles into Francesco Scianna’s territory with an implacability fuelled by narcissism, cruelty and cocaine. But the linearity and sketchiness of the secondary characters impose a superficiality that’s exacerbated by the perfunctory staging of the numerous shootouts and jailbreaks. Arnaldo Catinari’s harsh imagery adds a veneer of authenticity, but this is slick instead of steely and in thrall instead of enthralling

A slick, enthralling look at the life of Vallanzasca but fails to truly get under his skin.