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Review: Valley of Angels (2008)

Director: | 100 minutes | , drama, | Actors: , Danny Trejo, , , Miguel Angel Munguia, , , , , , , , , Kacie Stetson.

“Valley of Angels” is yet another example of a that hopes to compete with the big boys with minimal means. Bad camera work, bad sound, bad acting and laughable dialogues. But, it’s set in drug-ruled Los Angeles and we see two drug gangs killing each other. Surely there will be something to enjoy? Unfortunately, very little.

Leading actor George Katt (as Zachary “Zeus” Andrews) is a drug dealer firmly chained to crude drug boss Hector (stereotypically played by Danny Trejo, can he play other roles?). In voice-overs, which try to give the film an artificial higher cachet, we hear Zeus talk about how he would wish for a different, better life for himself. And then you will just see, just when he wants to flee the pernicious world, Hector saddles him with a very important task. Zeus has to look after Maria, Hector’s beautiful Latino girlfriend, for a few days. He’s getting a little too hot underfoot because the rival drug gang (very originally called the “Black Suits”) are out on his scalp and full vault. Zeus, who is tired of not only his job but also his “bitchy” girlfriend Sandra, hopes to flee to a warm island with his intellectual sleepover Lisa. Does this sound familiar? Anyway, Maria tells Zeus where Hector’s profits can be found. However, Hector appears to be still alive and forces Zeus to give him back his money. As collateral, he takes Sandra and Zeus’ sister Nathalie hostage. After the obligatory scolding and shooting back and forth, the corpses are piled up and in the end Zeus also does not escape his fate.

In “Valley of Angels” the acting is far below par. Danny Trejo can look very angry and maybe even better curse, but that is often the only thing that the man who managed to captivate in “Machete” manages to bring up. The cool “Black Suits” are really hilarious. They do their dutiful thing robotic. With the characters Carlos and Carter as highlights in bad casting. A “bad guy” with lyrics that the dogs do not like to eat and an oversexed drug user who sees life as a big party and all women – of course – only as willing meat. The pitifully bad script is the most to blame for the film. The actors seem to be acting away from the autocue, unemotional and without any development in character. What does Zeus’s mother add to the story and why hasn’t he kicked his annoying girlfriend much earlier? Director Jon Rosten does not give his “actors” anything to excel in. It’s all been done before and much better. Los Angeles and Danny Trejo, no winning combination this time. Far from…

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