Angels of Evil (15)

Starring: Kim Rossi Stuart, Filippo Timi
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The Independent Culture

This crime saga reunites the Romanzo Criminale director Michele Placido with his star Kim Rossi Stuart, here playing the Milanese mobster Renato Vallanzasca at the height of his notoriety in 1970s Italy following a sensational sequence of bank robberies, kidnappings and prison breaks.

Stuart's charismatic performance and some good set-pieces suggest Vallanzasca was the Italian Mesrine, a man whose movie-star looks garnered fan mail from besotted women while he was in prison. (He even married one of them.) The film overlooks psychology in favour of plugging him as a folk hero, with little time spared for his gang: so vague is its characterisation that the hairdresser one assumes to be his sister (Paz Vega) later turns out to be his wife. It's a bit of a plod, violent and overlong, from which we learn only this: even the Italians dressed badly in the 1970s.