Run time: 77 min
Genres: Action | Crime | Drama
Director: Adamo P. Cultraro
Writers: Adamo P. Cultraro
Stars: Tony Curran, Tom Sizemore, Johnny Messner
The story of a Los Angeles hit man. Corrado is the best there is in the city of LA. Pimped by his nefarious handler, Frankie, he performs jobs ranging from tune-ups to outright hits. Frankie loves Corrado for his lack of mercy, for his coldness and readiness to do the job no matter what. Now Frankie has a pearl of a job for Corrado – hit the aging kingpin Vittorio Spinello in his own house. Make it look like Vittorio’s death is an accident, get out, and $500K is his. Corrado readily accepts. Corrado is about to perform the hit when he is interrupted by Vittorio’s brand new live in nurse, Julia, and winds up shooting Vittorio dead and escaping out the window to leave Julia holding the bag. Julia doesn’t have to wait long for Vittorio’s son Paolo to discover her standing by his father’s corpse. In an unreasonable rage he accuses her of killing his father, or at least being complicit in his death. Corrado overhears this on the other side of the window he has escaped from, and somehow … Written by The Director
Release Date: 29 June 2010 (Netherlands)
Budget: $1,100,000 (estimated)
As I've said before, I can't give films like this just one star, mainly because the film is competently lit and you can hear the dialogue. A lot of indie films don't meet these criteria. Oh, yeah…and it has a story of sorts, with a beginning, middle and end.
Unfortunately, that's about all it has. I like Johnny Messner and he certainly outshines everyone else in the cast, but that's not saying much. Sizemore and everyone else just sort of slides along, either chewing scenery or phoning in their performances.
But I have to single out Candace Elaine, who it seems is an in-law of the director, as being the winner of "The Godfather III Award for Incompetency in Acting by a Relative of the Director and/or Producer." She is absolutely terrible in every single scene. It's beyond my ability to describe how bad she is and how she destroys every scene with any potential. My first guess was that this was her first acting job, but that turns out to be wrong. My second guess was that she was sleeping with the producer, but I won't explore that avenue. My third guess was actually correct (see above). As an added (admittedly sexist) observation, her face is shiny and her hair looks terrible throughout the movie as well. At least she hit her marks.
This film isn't worth your time, unless you are a huge Messner fan.
By the way, I'm getting really POed about this website trying to tell me that I spell "dialogue" incorrectly. One of the editors/moderators should consult a dictionary. "Dialog" may be an alternate spelling, but "dialogue" is preferred in both British and American English.
Corrado is one of those films that come along every so often that leaves you torn as to whether you truly loved or despised it. On both a technical and plot standpoint this film is mediocre at best. Perhaps my biggest gripe with the technical side of this film is the editing. Time & time again I see this kind of editing happening with low-budget independent features where scenes are cut into then cut out of very abruptly. What I mean by this is, most of the scenes in this film begin & end with a fade-in/out effect which I admit is not technically "wrong" but what does happen is it becomes a device for disjointing or unbalancing particular scenes within the context of the plot. There are some quality action scenes in Corrado where the tension is building to a climatic point only to be ruined by a fade out effect. The funniest thing that makes this all fit into perspective with what I am saying is; the credits for this film started rolling at the 73 minute mark! The editors didn't need to hack this film to all hell; in fact wouldn't they have served better preserving as much footage as possible in order to make this more than just a barely feature length film?
Anyway as for the plot, lets just say the idea is as weak as a stack of cards…we have this dime-a-dozen macho hit man named Corrado (Johnny Messner) who is sent an assignment to hit a high profile 85 year old crime boss who already has one foot in the grave. Even though the hit quite obviously poses a high risk to his own health, Corrado's overzealous attitude leads him to believe that he is capable of pulling it off so he can claim the $500,000 prize. However this is not what makes the plot weak, no, it is what actually happens when this cold-blooded, calculating killer bumps into the nurse (Candice Elaine) caring for the old man. Instead of doing his job & popping both of them, Corrado suddenly develops a conscience & decides to rescue her from the clutches of the mobster's psychotic son, Paolo (Tom Sizemore) who is hell-bent on blaming her for the murder regardless. So as they get chased around LA County by Paolo's goons, Corrado begins to open up more of his humanity towards the nurse (for reasons unknown) as he unveils the horrific past event that shaped his life.
With all that said, Corrado (the film) is not a piece a crap, believe me, I've had my fair share of that don't you worry! The positives in this film can be noted through the standard of acting, script-writing & plot themes that constantly keep this film edgy & non-stagnant. I as one commend Tom Sizemore for allowing his own acting status to be put to one side by investing his time in a little low-budget feature like this where he can 'let go' as an actor & become the full embodiment of his psychotic, alcoholic, womanising character (in true method fashion). Another one of my commendations goes to the title character himself, Johnny Messner. This guy has the physical attributes/presence, the accent/language & persona that makes him a plausible tough guy hit man. Johnny Messner is an actor that is going from strength to strength & while the plot in this film didn't utilize his most natural "bad ass" talents, I can say that his own characterisation of 'Corrado' was spot on!
Now as I said earlier, the script is actually one of the positive factors in this film. From the very outset you could tell that the writer of this film was trying to make an impression on his viewers. The beginning narration paints Corrado as a no nonsense guy who compares peoples' "unfulfilled promises" as the "bounced cheques of my World". Writer-Director Adamo P. Cultraro obviously knows his way around this kind of crime-styled action genre with his witty off-the-cuff dialogue & his fearless attitude towards using profanity laced tirades (something which most writers fear being discredited for).
The last point I want to make (in an already long review-sorry) is the plot theme that really saved this film from total disaster in the final act. Instead of this film going for a sentimental/happy ending, what the director has cleverly tried to do is tie in an all-important yet mostly overlooked theme, that being; does violence vs. violence really solve any problems? In all honesty, I probably would have trashed this film had it not been; for lack of a better term, 'brave' enough to throw out the male bravado crap in the finale & actually aim for something that the audience can meaningfully take away from their viewing experience.
So do I recommend this film? Yes but on one condition. Don't watch it expecting the highest calibre of acting, story telling or production value. If you love low budget actioners that have less-than-likable characters, crazy plot twists & a social message thrown in at the end…this is the film for you!
One of the easiest things to do today is to make a movie that looks and sounds professional. The advances in filmmaking equipment and the wealth of information about the industry now easily available enable almost anyone with enough ambition to achieve production values that would have made Roger Corman green with envy. None of which makes it easier to make a good motion picture. It merely allows even the most talentless boob to make motion pictures that look good.
All of which makes me wonder from what primordial soup of suck did the ancestors of writer/director Adamo Paolo Cultraro crawl? What parallel evolution occurred in the stupidest crevices on Earth to produce someone capable of creating a 2009 film that looks and sounds as appalling as Bad Ass? Beyond the atrocious writing, the camera work that gets to be laugh out loud horrible, a cast largely made up of doofuses apparently yanked out of line at the DMV and Tom Sizemore vamping his way through a performance that if he wasn't high during it, he got high afterwards in order to forget it, this thing is a brutal example of technical incompetence. I've honestly seen movies worse than this. I don't think I've ever encountered a flick more poorly made.
Corrado (Johnny Messner) is a hit-man/collection agent/douchebag with horrible tattoos who is hired to kill an aging mobster (Ken Kercheval. That's right. Ken Kercheval) and make it look like natural causes. The mobster's nurse (Candace Elaine) interrupts him in the act, Corrado just shoots the guy and then he and the nurse spend the rest of the movie trying to get away from the thugs sent after them by the mobster's tweaky son (Tom Sizemore). There's a cavalcade of cruddy sets, fraudulent locations, horrible line readings, even more horrible improv, awkwardly incapable fight scenes and a hard faced lead actress who looks about 25 years too old for her part. Then the whole thing just flies apart at the end like a defective roller coaster.
The wretched storytelling, however, doesn't even come close to equaling the visual and audio stench that assaults you from the astonishingly bad filmmaking. The sound quality here would have been notably deficient in some dirt cheap piece of 1960s exploitation cinema. For a movie to sound this awful in 2009 almost defies explanation. You can hear the sound level and background noise change as shots switch from one character to another, when you can even make out what anyone is saying at all. There's a scene where the camera is focused on one character and starts to pan over to another, then hastily jerks back to the first guy because the cameraman forgot the actor still had another thing to do in the scene. That wasn't some deleted moment scene thrown onto the DVD in the "special features" menu. They left it in the film. There's another scene where a guy is holding a gun to someone's head and the camera is shooting him from such an angle that his outstretched arm completely covers the lower half of his face. And that shot isn't a momentary lapse. It does on like that for like a minute or so with the guy talking and the audience unable to see his mouth move.
And Tom Sizemore oh, Tom Sizemore. He's clearly improving at least 95% of his dialog and gives every impression that he's doing it in some altered mental state. There's at least a half dozen points in Bad Ass where you can see the other actors have no idea where Sizemore is going or how they're supposed to react to him. There's also a moment where is sure seems the director just threw his hands in the air, set the camera on a wide shot and let Sizemore do whatever he wanted, resulting in what looks like an outtake from Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab.
I can only hope Adamo Paolo Cultraro was some 41 year old video store clerk who still lived in his parent's basement while fruitlessly fantasizing about being the next Quentin Tarantino and his mom and dad cashed in their retirement savings so he could make this film and it would serve as sort of an intervention. There's no way anyone with a functioning brain stem could makes something like this, see it on the screen and still think they had a chance in hell of ever making movies for a living. For his sake, that crushing realization should have sent Adamo Paolo Cultraro fleeing from Hollywood and into some career he might prosper in, like cleaning the drains at public pools or sterilizing the equipment at liposuction clinics.
Julia plays the damsel, a private nurse sent in third shift to care for an aging Godfather. Julia is in the room when a hit man Carrado kills the Godfather. He decided to show her mercy and let her live. But that's short-lived as now the hotheaded Godson Paolo and his head henchman Tommaso believes she set the Godfather up and are going to execute her, so now she is in distress. The Hit-man with the heart of gold sweeps in to rescue the Damsel in Distress. Paolo now in charge dispatches his legion of Goons to hunt down and kill the duo. Three things I liked; the cast was dragged up from Celebrity Rehab (sober house) and Sopranos of course. This meant these guys weren't slumming they were lucky to get the gig. There was a lot of add-libbing, at one point Tom Sizemore asks Frank Stallone if he has any coke because there has to be something better than Whiskey just to drink. I don't know if this was a scripted line or not, but Sizemore MEANT IT! There was a Tarratinoesque scene where the Goons are cackling and giggling as they pin a victim to a garbage can. The Hessian hit man over dramatically tries to play too cool silent killer. However his threats can't be heard over the cracking and teasing of the Neanderthal thugs. THE REASON I only watched 30minutes is because the heroine was atrocious. She's had so much cosmetic Surgery her face is transforming into the cat woman face. All that cosmetic surgery and not one cent spent on her breasts unless she had them reduced. I didn't want to see her naked, and what's the use in watching these movies, if you don't want to see the Damsel in distress, naked?