The End Of Violence (1997)

WIM WENDERS

Bil’s rating (out of 5): B

//USA, 1997. , , , . Story by , Wim Wenders, Screenplay by Nicholas Klein. Cinematography by . Produced by Nicholas Klein, , Wim Wenders. Music by , , . Production Design by . Costume Design by Patricia Norris. Film Editing by .

Human violence within the context of Hollywood fantasy and beyond it in the real world is ruminated upon in this unholy mess of a movie, whose basic premise spins out into a series of barely connected scenes that, by the end, feel like they have been made up on the spot.

plays a disaffected movie producer whose internal monologue is unnecessarily laid over the soundtrack, making a call one day to his wife () to plead with her not to leave him, when he is kidnapped by two strange men and dragged up into the hills above Los Angeles to be executed.

At Griffith Observatory, a scientist () is using the lab not to watch the stars but to observe the people below, taking part in a secret government CCTV operation that will “end violence” through the supervision of all activity, and his cameras catch Pullman’s abduction before interference obscures the aftermath.

The next day, it’s the kidnappers’ bodies that are discovered and the victim nowhere to be found, while Pullman’s latest project involving a pretentious director () and a former stunt woman turned new star () is in danger of being shut down, and MacDowell is being pressured to wrap up his affairs while a movie fan police detective () is on the search for him.

Pullman, in a move that recalls director Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas, has gone into hiding with a Latine family of gardeners, joining them in their daily work and leaving his glamorous show biz life behind, his near-death experience turning out to be the result of his having at some point received information about Byrne’s secret project for reasons that the film never properly justifies.

Weak stakes for the characters’ situations, boring dialogue exchanges and a strong whiff of pretentious psychobabble about life, art and economics are only relieved by attractive cinematography and a committed cast, though most of the actors in the film don’t seem to have a clue what movie they are in.

, whose own filmography was comprised of films that questioned the human inability to avoid bloodshed, makes a cameo appearance as Byrne’s father that hardly makes much more sense than the rest of this off-brand version of The Player mixed with L.A. Confidential, but he does seem to be having a good time with what comes off as purely improvised dialogue.

Cannes Film Festival: In Competition

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