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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Released: 9/18/2007
All Ratings out of
Extras: No Extras
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 9/18/2007
In the past month, we've seen the release of Death Sentence and The Brave One, two major motion pictures featuring well-known actors which riff on the revenge motif of Death Wish. (Although, the trailer for The Brave One makes it look much more like Abel Ferrara's cult classic Ms. 45.) This tells me that the notion of vigilante justice is alive and well in Hollywood. It also seems to be on the minds of our friends across the pond, as we get the DVD release of the British film Closure.
Gillian Anderson stars in Closure as Alice, a woman who works as an executive in London. Alice has hired Adam (Danny Dyer) to install a security system in her apartment. When she returns home from work, she finds that Adam is still in her flat and, despite the fact that she doesn't know the man, invites him to a party which her boss is throwing. They arrive at the party, which is being held at a country estate, mingle, and then leave. On the way back to London, they pass a slow-moving vehicle and Adam shouts some rude things at the driver. Their car then hits a deer (elk? The thing was big.) Alice and Adam pull over to assess the damage. Then, the SUV which they passed arrives. Three men get out of the car and proceed to viciously beat Adam and brutally rape Alice.
Adam and Alice return to London and attempt to get back on with their lives. However, Adam is having a difficult time adjusting and he is constantly drunk or stoned. Alice learns that her father has died and that she's inherited his house in the country. While visiting the house, she sees her assailants and follows one home. She brings Adam to the house and shows her a military rifle which her father left behind. Alice then formulates a plan to find the men who assaulted them and get revenge.
Please allow me to get past a portion of this review which is unfortunately unavoidable. For all of you nerdlingers out there who salivated over Gillian Anderson when she played Agent Dana Scully on The X-Files, I'll tell you now: Yes, she's naked in this movie. Please don't run over anyone on your way to the video store. Now, on with the review.
If Closure doesn't sound very original, that's because most of it isn't. The movie is a mixture of Death Wish and Ms. 45, with a dash of Straw Dogs. The film plays like many other rape/assault/revenge films as we are introduced to a character(s), see them get brutalized, witness the aftermath of the event, and then see them seek vengeance. The only parts of the main plot which stand out in Closure are the fact that Alice is affluent (and a sexually aggressive woman) and the coincidence that Alice finds her attackers.
But, if you look beyond the main structure of Closure, there is something unique happening here. Writer/director Dan Reed has a history of making documentaries and parts of Closure have a sort of documentary feel, as the film is very cold and detached at times. This actually works following the attack, as it mimics the emotional detachment that some victims of violent crimes can feel. We also see this reflected in the characters. Truth be told, we don't get to know Alice or Adam very well -- the movie keeps them at arm's length -- but it can be assumed that Alice is a busy woman who doesn't have time to look for a man (which explains why she invites a total stranger to a party) and we see that Adam is a voyeur. These individuals are thrown into a situation where they are forced to get up-close with some despicable people. The movie throws us a curve in the final reel when we get a second view of the night when Alice and Adam were attacked. This shows that there’s more than one way to be a victim.
The assault/revenge genre typically presents us with films which are difficult to watch, and Closure is no exception. But, the movie deserves attention for the fact that it takes a very cliched structure and tries something new with it. Be warned, the movie is every bit as violent and cruel as any other in the genre, and those who are sensitive to violence will most likely want to sit this one out. But, the film adds an interesting layer of drama to the story and the twist in the third act makes the ending even more powerful.
Closure seeks retaliation on DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The film was shot on Super 16 and then blown up to 35mm. This explains the look of this transfer. The image is fairly clear, but it shows a notable amount of grain and the image is somewhat lacking in detail. But, the colors look good and the use of dark lighting doesn’t obscure the action. There was obvious artifacting in some shots. The image doesn’t look bad, per se, but the low-budget source material makes the look of this DVD pale in comparison to recent blockbuster releases. The DVD feature a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo is very good, as are the subtle surround sound effects. The most obvious audio effect here is the LFE channel which comes into play during the attack scene.
There are no extra features on this DVD.
Review Copyright 2007 by Mike Long