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  • Sexy Beast (2000): **1/2

    Directed by Johnathan Glazer

    Yes, Gandhi is fantastic in this movie.

    Ben Kingsley has a spectacular, outlandish supporting role in this film as basically the embodiment of a bad temper. He screams, he gnashes, he radiates menace, he quietly seethes, his eyes stare daggars at you, all that kind of stuff. In one fantastic sequence he screams "No!" about seventeen times in a row. It is the kind of performance that just makes your jaws drop.

    And that, unfortunately is where two of the two-and-a-half stars for this movie comes from. Ben Kingsley really only has about 20-30 minutes of screen time, and the movie around him feels like a corpse. It's stiff and dreary and cold and I was bored as hell watching it.

    Which is really a shame. I mean, it has some great stuff in it, like a giant boulder that rolls down a hill and into a swimming pool—for no reason. It just kind of happens. There's a recurring motif of a giant devil bunny. A heist is done by drilling into a bank from a next-door steam bath. Drilling, of course, from underwater in the giant pool in the steam bath (why didn't they drain it first?). All that stuff is great—in theory. In theory communism works, and we all know how well that's turning out.

    The movie as a whole is just dead and dreary, and makes the horrible mistake of having Ben Kingsley be the second act instead of the spectacular climax. As it is, you're bored for a half hour, then Ben Kingsley comes on and you go "Kick Ass!" And then he goes away and you're treated to another half hour of drudgery as the main character uninterestingly tries to solve a problem with uninteresting characters and I was just uninterested. Whenever Kingsley wasn't on screen I just wanted to fast forward until his next appearance. So why didn't the filmmakers realize this and put him in more of it?

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