This action-thriller follows the story of macho tough-guy, Daniel, who makes a deathbed promise to his father to turn their family from petty gangsters to upright brokerage owners. The only thing standing in his way, is a wild and mysterious romance with a blackmailing hooker, Devina. Daniel must find his way through a maze of disgrace and pleasure to discover where his real loyalties lie.
See the trailer here.
First of all, this film is known by three different names: Dress to Kill, Crossing, The Mafia Family Affairs. It can be an extremely difficult film to find. I finally got my copy from amazon’s store in Canada, but if you have a multi-region DVD player, you should have an easier time locating it.
Secondly, also note that this movie is an adult film. There are many bedroom scenes and plenty of profanity. In truth, this would not be a typical film that I would have chosen to see on my own, but I am grateful that I was able to overlook any potentially offensive material for the sake of the review. It was well worth the effort.
From the beginning of this film, I knew this was going to take me outside of my comfort zone yet again, and nothing could have been closer to the truth. But that it something I have come to expect as I discover more films starring my good friend, Sebastian Spence. He has opened my world to so many new and exciting things.
Although I was unfamiliar with any other actors in this film, I was quite delighted to discover a link to Canadian singer I had the privilege to see in concert. When I spotted the name Crystal Bublé on the DVD case, I didn’t instantly make the connection until I further researched her. Yes, she is the younger sister of Michael Bublé. I had no idea she was an actress, and hearing one of her brother’s songs in the film was indeed bonus.
Crystal Bublè as prostitute and eventual lover of Daniel Cimmerman (Sebastian) was altogether charming at times and absolutely racy at other times. I found that I sympathized with her character and yearned to see her break free from her pimp as strongly as she did. It is unusual for me to care about a character in her position, but she played her role so convincingly–I would not be opposed to seeing her in another work. Her prowess captivated me as she effortlessly shifted between “bad girl” and “good girl” throughout the film.
Before I get to the heart of my review, I have to say I was quite fascinated to see so much of the local color of Vancouver B.C. in this film. I was so very young when I visited Vancouver that all I can recall is going to an aquarium, and even that is spotty. Living in Washington state, Vancouver B.C. (as opposed to Vancouver, Washington–always a confusing thing around here), I often hear about this city but know very little about it. It was stimulating to witness the nicer and even the seedier areas of this metropolis. In fact, some of the scenery almost convinced me to drop everything at once and go for a visit.
Now to my thoughts about Sebastian and his memorable character of Daniel, the tortured son of a gangster who attempts with all his might to make the family business legitimate. At this point, I have seen Sebastian take on a wide variety of roles, but this one was indeed something unexpected and quite different for me to see. Yes, he was still the same guy who can play the romantic lead, psychopath, and alien hunter, but this one took his acting in a unique direction.
As the son who was endeavoring to set everything right, I was able to see that same amiable guy I’ve come to know. He was fairly moralistic in his aspirations, and I appreciated seeing him pursue with a passion those who would take him down. It seemed as though his character’s heart was always in the right place, in spite of temptation.
However, Davina (Crystal’s character) was the one chink in his armor. She appeared to know him and accepted him for whom he truly was. I’ll admit it was highly unusual to see Sebastian as a cross dresser, but as he completely immerses himself in every role, this was no exception. In fact, I felt he brought a certain dignity to the role that I am not certain many actors could. While the bedroom scenes could have been less intense for me at times (that’s merely a personal preference of mine), they appeared to be authentic and never laughable. Once in a while there was a bit of humor to break up the somber tone of the film, and oftentimes his character was the one that would provide that.
One of my only complaints with the story is that the ending seemed a bit rushed. I struggled to tie up all the loose ends, and the ending seemed a bit inconclusive at best. I appreciated the dramatic ending but I wish all my questions had been answered. But that is a minor thing and certainly not the fault of the actors. It is also merely a personal preference.
My conclusion? Well, while this will never be my favorite of his films nor characters, Sebastian is as brilliant as he always is. I have yet to see a role he cannot tackle with finesse and credibility. He always brings his entire being to the role and becomes that character–at least while on the screen, mind you. In fact, I am quite relieved he only acts parts like this. I found myself thinking on many occasions throughout the film how grateful I was that he was not like this in real life.
For more information about this film, please visit this link.
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