Genre: Poliziotteschi/ Action
Director: Giorgio Stegani
TRASH CINEMA RECOMMENDED MOVIE
The leader of a Milanese gang, Paolo Mancuso (Antonio Sabato) is a total scumbag, even beyond what you would expect from a pimp and drug dealer. When the Calabrese mafia sends two prostitutes into his zone to turn tricks, he has one of them gang raped; the other undergoes some impromptu surgery. When the Calabrese retaliate, Mancuso has his men do something so depraved, it’s completely unforgivable.
Apparently, the universe has had all it can take, and finally Mancuso lands in a situation in which his cunning and propensity for violence may be of limited utility.
Antonio Sabato is fabulous as Mancuso. In a fearless performance, Sabato makes Mancuso as despicable as he is competent, which is what the zestful script by Giovanni Addessi, Franco Barbaresi, and Camillo Bazzoni calls for.
But Last Desperate Hours isn’t perfect. While the arc of the story is a thing of beauty, and the Mancuso character is a stunner, there are a number of confrontations and chases which are less than compelling. The director, Giorgio Stegani, also has an unfortunate tendency to cheat in obvious ways.
For example, when Mancuso is thrown free of a car when it crashes, it’s completely unconvincing. At another point, Mancuso hops a freight train via directorial sleight of hand. The moment completely falls flat. It would have been better if Stegani had just used inference if he couldn’t pull off the illusion he was going for.
On the other hand, Stegani makes the best of several cringe-inducing moments the screenwriters have handed him, elevating Last Desperate Hours beyond the routine.
Overall, Last Desperate Hours is a satisfying and engaging journey, and unexpectedly philosophical for a Poliziotteschi flick.