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Break (DVD Review)

8 Jul, 2009 By: Billy Gil


Street 7/14/09
Cinema Epoch
$24.98 DVD
Rated ‘R’
Stars Frank Krueger, Sarah Thompson, Chad Everett, Michael Madsen, Mackenzie Firgens, David Carradine, Charles Durning, Matthew Jones, James Russo, Xin Sarith Wuku.

Break is a potent crime thriller that features one of the final screen performances of David Carradine.

Frank (Frank Krueger) is a hitman hired by The Man (Chad Everett) to kill him when The Man finds out he has a terminal illness. Sounds easy enough for a detached hitman, only Frank’s eyes hint that he’s a softie at heart, confirmed when The Man reveals he wants Frank to off his girlfriend along with him because he doesn’t want to die alone. And the girl, a beautiful singer, happens to be Frank’s long-lost love.

So goes the set-up for a graphic-novel style crime thriller. Its plot is plenty contrived, and its characters pretty unbelievable — seriously, why does every woman in this movie desperately want to get into massive-foreheaded Frank’s pants? — and within half an hour, the film manages to seriously insult deaf people, overweight people, gay people, women, men and anyone I left out.

But the kind of dumb fun Break offers isn’t meant for serious film aficionados. It’s a blast to watch, with enough fighting to overcome its obvious low budget. And, for film noir fans, there’s more than a little bit of Lynchian creepy camp to chew on — the singer, in particular, is straight out of “Twin Peaks.”

Although the roles of the film’s biggest stars, Michael Madsen and the late Carradine, are cameos, they are enjoyable ones and don’t feel like a ripoff. It’s great to see two cult stars give it their all in a small film such as this. Madsen is funny and terrifically slimy as The Associate, and Carradine reminds us of why we’ll miss him so as The Bishop, whose sexually deviant personality is even more eerie given the nature of Carradine’s death.

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