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Monday, July 21, 2014

Avenging Angelo (released in 2002) - Starring Sylvester Stallone, Madeleine Stowe, Anthony Quinn, Raoul Bova, Harry Van Gorkum

The charming Angelo Allieghieri (Anthony Quinn) and dapper aide Frankie Delano (Sylvester Stallone) are like father and son, associates in ‘watching’- Delano watches over Angelo’s daughter Jennifer Barrett (Madeleine Stowe), who is trapped in a no good marriage, her young son sent away to military school. In his warm, raspy voice Angelo explains to Frankie that he has only Jennifer in his life - this upsets Delano, who is somewhat fed up of being the invisible presence in the lives of both Angelo and Jennifer. The patriarch films his memoirs for his daughter, all the while Delano feels a little neglected in this scenario. Meanwhile, Jennifer is quite hysterical without her son, fraught with the worst thoughts as she feels lost without her only child.
One day, as Allieghieri and Delano chat over a meal, unbeknownst to the two, parked in a car few meters from where they sat - are hired assassins, waiting for them to finish their meal, and then kill the old man - as Delano steps out to sort out a parking ticket issue, in walks hit man Bruno (Billy Gardell) with a loaded gun, emptying the barrel in the old man - Frankie is also hurt in the exchange of fire, he watches helplessly as the man he loved like a father - dies like an unknown, no good derelict, in the corner of a small restaurant.

Meanwhile, Jennifer’s husband Kip (Harry Von Gorkum) is having an affair - Jennifer walks in on him and his lover, shooting randomly, under the influence of mood enhancing drugs. She throws her husband out, rearranging things to kill time. A knock at the door and there’s Frankie Delano - bleeding, asking her if he can come in. She recalls that he used to deliver groceries to Angelo, when she stayed with her parents (she was raised by adoptive parents, unaware that her real father was Angelo). She always thought that Angelo was just a nice old man. After he gets drunk to numb the pain and stitches himself up, he asks her to play a CD - which Angelo filmed for her. On screen, Angelo is telling her she isn’t who she thinks she is; that there were many big names in the mob who wanted to get him - Sammy Carboni, Lucio Malatesta - they disliked each other as well!
So Lucio gifts Sammy a golf set - one which is unique, so that the hit man can recognize who he is; incidentally, the hit man is a traitor from Angelo’s camp. Voila - Carboni hit, Angelo blamed. Two birds with one stone. This is why the blameless old guy was bumped off by Sammy’s son.  Not able to deal with the changes in her life, Jennifer isn’t going to readily accept that her father was a mafia man. Frankie still watches over her from the sidelines, even as she has a fling with an Italian writer; he has vowed to protect her at all costs. Delano’s suspicions about the man she’s having an affair with, the attempt on her life by the mafia - all draw the two closer together as they take on the crime world to salvage the world they have left.
Avenging Angelo was Anthony Quinn’s last film , he died shortly after. The critics weren’t kind to Stallone this time around either, and lashed out at the film’s jaded theme; but like always Sly was having the last laugh as audiences appreciated his cool Italian avatar - very Stallone!

Avenging Angelo (released in 2002) - Starring Sylvester Stallone, Madeleine Stowe, Anthony Quinn, Raoul Bova, Harry Van Gorkum

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