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Stiletto – Review

20 Aug

Revenge flicks starring a troubled femme fatale with a dark past usually makes for some great entertainment. Just look at Kill Bill and La Femme Nikita. I thought that Stiletto would be a welcome inclusion to these films just listed, but instead I was forced to sit through a derivative, ugly, boring, and uninvolved movie that may be one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.


Virgil Vadalos (Tom Berenger) is a Greek crime lord whose business is being rocked by a mysterious Russian assassin, Raina (Stana Katic). As the underworld begins to fall into chaos, a crooked cop begins the search to find her and bring her to Virgil, but once he hears Raina’s troubling and violent story, he begins to question his loyalty.

I’d love to tell you more about the plot, but there is nothing else. It’s an uninspired revenge story that lacks originality and involvement. The narrative is a jumbled mess that jumps all over the place and has some of the weirdest pacing I’ve ever seen. It was very talky and then there would be something incredibly violent and borderline then ground to a halt with more terrible dialogue.


I cringed so many times at the god awful dialogue. I expect so much more from actors like Tom Berenger, Michael Biehn, and Tom Sizemore. I guess it isn’t really their fault with writing like this, but their acting came off as either bland or over the top. Michael Bien was always yelling his ass off, and I really just wanted him to shut up. Tom Sizemore was one of the only entertaining characters, and he was only in it for like five minutes. William Forsythe is the only actor in this movie who give a passable, if not a little boring, performance.

Visually, this movie is really ugly. Part of the appeal of movies is the way a director and cinematographer creates a setting that is memorable. Every set in Stiletto is just plain ugly. A movie theatre looks way too dusty and decrepit, even though I feel like that is what the film makers were going for. It was just really distracting. A parking garage has absolutely no redeeming qualities when it comes to set design or how it was lit. Maybe the DP and director war going for realism, but this movie’s story and feel is not trying to be realistic.


The action and dialogue, as bad as it is, is done in a over the top way that would be great if the rest of the film was structured in the same way. When the movie slows down, it becomes an unoriginal gangster movie with no redeeming qualities. The small spurts of action offer small glimpses at a movie that could have been fun.

Talking about this movie is like talking about the worst episode of your favorite show. I don’t want hate it because of the stars in it and the briefly cool action, but I have to because it was terrible in every other way. How could a movie with so much potential to be awesome turn out to be so derivative and lame. Stiletto is one of the worst movies that I have seen in a long time, and I would never recommend it to anyone in a thousand years.