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movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Intacto

Starring: Eusebio Poncela, Leonardo Sbaraglia
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Rated: R
RunTime: 108 Minutes
Release Date: December 2001
Genres: Drama, Suspense, Foreign, Spanish

*Also starring: Max von Sydow, Monica Lopez, Guillermo Toledo

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's INTACTO, an eclectic mixture of UNBREAKABLE, TOUCH and SERIES 7, is an enigmatic film that's too clever for its own good. It's a conundrum not worth solving, and it's the type of mindbender that will have you turning to your companion afterwards and asking, "What was that all about?"

The story concerns a group of people who steal other people's luck -- and their photos. These hyper-lucky, but always miserable, folks get their adrenaline rushes by engaging each other in luck competitions in which the losers end up at least seriously injured and sometimes dead. Usually they blindfold themselves in order to up the ante. These trials include running blindfolded across a busy six-lane highway at night and sprinting through a forest full of very big, immovable tress.

The award for the ending competition is "the bragging rights to being the luckiest man on earth." The current champion is a Holocaust survivor named Samuel (Max von Sydow). Challenging him will be Toms (Leonardo Sbaraglia), a criminal, who, like Bruce Willis in UNBREAKABLE, was the only person left intact after a major crash -- this time of an airplane rather than a train. Samuel and Toms will play a special game of Russian roulette in which the odds of living are slim.

Lucio Godoy's scoring is especially effective in setting an eerie and unsettling mood. INTACTO is sometimes intriguing, but the director is never able to give us any reason to care or to explain the characters' motivations. The likely answer to the aforementioned "What was that all about?" is "Who cares?"

INTACTO runs 1:48. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles and in English. It is rated R for "language, some violence and brief nudity" and would be acceptable for teenagers.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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