The End of Violence
Celebrated cult director Wim Wenders turns in yet another laconic, pretentious art film that acts like it has something to say about the human condition, but amounts to little more than a few breezy, tactile images and a whole lot of boredom. Bill Pullman stars as Hollywood producer Mike Max, whose shallow, egocentric lifestyle is rocked by an inefficient government assassination attempt. So he goes into hiding, living the good life with a family of Hispanic immigrant groundskeepers, while his estranged wife (Andie MacDowell) opportunistically takes the reigns of his company. In another plot thread, Gabriel Byrne looks pensive as a covert surveillance whiz with a nagging conscience. Wenders has a unique way of inventing compelling plots that could succeed as either comedies, thrillers, or even brilliant ruminations on the state of things, but goes about it so nonplused, he ends up with nothing. Also with Loren Dean, and a number of fine bit players giving truly horrible performances. In 2.35:1 widescreen or pan-and-scan, and 2.0 Dolby Surround. Trailer, keep case.