The End Of Violence

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama, Thriller

This being German director Wim Wenders' first English-language film since PARIS, TEXAS, it's a shame the dialogue all sounds as though it's been translated into another language and then back to English. A meditation on violence (which mean it's slow and rambling) in Hollywood movies, this philosophical thriller is simultaneously painfully pretentious and...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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This being German director Wim Wenders' first English-language film since PARIS, TEXAS, it's a shame the dialogue all sounds as though it's been translated into another language and then back to English. A meditation on violence (which mean it's slow and

rambling) in Hollywood movies, this philosophical thriller is simultaneously painfully pretentious and terrifically silly. Producer Mike Max (Bill Pullman), specialist in bloody blockbusters, receives a mysterious piece of e-mail ("It's classified FBI files," his assistant says helpfully. "400

pages") but he's too busy to read it. The sender, Ray Bering (Gabriel Byrne), is a computer scientist who's building a monumental, Big Brother nightmare of a police surveillance system; he once met Max at a high-tech conference and decides to pitch Max the system as the basis of a movie. Bering's

bosses disagree, and try to have Max killed, but he escapes and hides out with a Mexican family while his tentative, neglected wife (Andie MacDowell) takes over his media empire and transforms herself into a man-eating harpie in power suits. Wenders has no feel at all for Hollywood or Los Angeles,

the fact that he's worked there notwithstanding: From the posters for Mike Max movies to the fact that Ray's office is in the Griffith Observatory, everything looks false -- even amateurish -- and chosen with an eye to heavy symbolism. Sure, Udo Kier is amusing as Zoltan Tibor, who's shooting

Max's new Seeds of Violence on a set that appears to be a reproduction of the diner in Edward Hopper's famous Nighthawks, and gets to remark, "I don't know why I try to make movies here -- I should go back to Europe." But the sight of aging director Sam Fuller, crotchety idol of the

New Wave, fumbling his way through the small role of Bering's father is depressing rather than cleverly self-referential. Overall, it's a monumental misfire of the particular kind it takes real talent to create.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This being German director Wim Wenders' first English-language film since PARIS, TEXAS, it's a shame the dialogue all sounds as though it's been translated into another language and then back to English. A meditation on violence (which mean it's slow and… (more)

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