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.45 (2006)

Director: Gary Lennon
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Angus MacFadyen, Stephen Dorf, Sarah Strange, Aisha Tyler
Running time: 101 min.
Released by Velocity/Thinkfilm

Milla Jovovich plays Kat, a sort of scuzzy woman who is in love with the even scuzzier "Big Al". Big Al makes his living selling pistols, toasters, and the occasional stolen car. They live in a ratty apartment, and have lots and lots of sex. But all is not well with the two lovebirds. It seems that Kat is desired by nearly every other character in the movie. Kat's lesbian friend, Vic, makes no secret of her love for Kat. The same goes for Big Al's friend, Reilly, a hood who wants to go straight. When Big Al flies into a jealous rage and beats the daylights out of Kat, the characters begin scheming on ways to get Big Al out of the picture. Oh yeah, and the domestic violence counselor assigned to the case, played by Aisha Tyler, wants Kat, too.

Rather than feel like the gritty, quirky crime drama ".45" wants to be, it plays more like a parody of one. The fault lies entirely on writer/director Gary Lennon. His characters are cartoonish and unlikeable, their dialogue is stagey and unnatural. When the big moment comes where Al assaults Kat, it is jarring for all the wrong reasons. The scene is very heavy, but in this context, it feels like it came from another film. The remainder of the movie features Kat using her feminine wiles to get rid of Al by any means necessary. I won't give away any of the details, but Lennon goes on to demonstrate that he also has no concept of building tension, and the climax is anything but climactic.

The actors do the best they can, given the quality of the writing and direction. Jovovich might be a good actress, but it's impossible to tell with material this bad. It also doesn't help that the Scottish-born MacFadyen has one of the worst "New York" accents in the history of film. At one point, a character has to explain that Big Al lived in Scotland for awhile when he was young, and not planet Neptune like his accent implies. Stephen Dorf is disposable here, as the small time crook who wants to steal Kat away from Al. The character of Reilly doesn't do anything in regards to developing the story, a shame because Dorf gives it a noble effort. His BLU e-cig commercials are a testament to his acting prowess.

There really isn't much to recommend here. Milla is always nice to look at, but the rest of the movie is kind of lame.

2 out of 5.

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