A melancholic, neon-soaked nightmare
- Angel review by RJ
The basic plot of this film (man witnesses brutal killing, seeks revenge on the perpetrators) might lead you to expect something in the vein of Death Wish, an exploitative film glorifying the vigilante. Alternatively, the setting of the film (Belfast, 1982, in the midst of the Troubles) might lead you to expect gritty realism.
In fact, it is neither of these things. I can't describe it any better than Mark Cousins did when he said that director Neil Jordan had "created a hazy world of neon pink, woozy and muffled". Danny's journey of revenge hardly seems premeditated, nor does he revel in his role as avenging angel. Instead he seems almost compelled by unknown forces; violence hangs heavy in the air that he breathes and he becomes intoxicated by it. His mission is not redemptive or cathartic, it is sad and suffocating and the cycle of violence just continues. Dismal, grey streets are escaped from in unreal, neon-lit spaces. Danny drifts through the film like a dead man walking, just as James Mason does in Odd Man Out, which is a spiritual companion to this film.
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Not A Magic Angel
- Angel review by JJ
This was a disappointment, particularly in light of some of Jordan's other work; Mona Lisa is a great film, The Crying Game a pretty good one. But Angel didn't offer me much, whether in terms of the storyline, or the dull, none-too-bright musician-avenger (I suppose enigmatic was intended) who stumbles into worlds he doesn't understand, the clunky sound design (don't listen through headphones), the awful violence the singer in the band inflicts on Danny Boy and Strange Fruit, the unglowing photography, etc, etc. I gave up after about an hour after realising that I couldn't care less about what hppened in the end. Even the usually excellent Ray McNally couldn't save this one.
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.