After his last film “D-Tox” died a very quick death at the box office, you’d think it would be a while before we’d see Sylvester Stallone again. Instead, he’s starring in comedy clunker “Avenging Angelo”, a significantly better film than the aforementioned action dud he starred in earlier this year – but ultimately another waste of the green stuff, and even further proof that Stallone’s career needs a definite revamp.
Stallone stars as Frankie Delano, right-hand man of mob boss Angelo Allighieri (Anthony Quinn). Unable to save his boss from being whacked by an old foe, Frankie flees to the home of Angelo’s daughter, Jennifer (Madeleine Stowe), who he believed will be next. Problem is, she has no idea the late mobster was actually her father, having been adopted out at an early age.
Promising Angelo he would protect and keep his only daughter safe, Jennifer reluctantly agrees to Frankie’s safeguard – but it isn’t until a foiled hit in a department store that she starts to take her newly discovered heritage seriously. Now she’s determined the only way she’ll stay alive is to play her enemies at their own game – even if it means ‘whacking’ them first.
Sort of a middling clone of “The Bodyguard”, “Avenging Angelo” blends drama, action, comedy, slapstick and romance, even if less successfully than the aforesaid. You see, instead of sticking to its roots as an effervescent comedy, the film uneasily morphs into a love story, and then into your emblematic Sly action number. Had screenwriter Will Aldis stuck to his guns and decided on what he actually wanted to accomplish through “Avenging Angelo” we might have had a better-rounded picture.
As Frankie, Stallone is quite tolerable. It’s actually good to see him kicking back for a change, playing a different type of character. And while his romantic scenes with Stowe lack palpable chemistry, it’s an interesting move by the filmmakers to have them couple up. As Angelo, Anthony Quinn is in his element, and thankfully his moments in the film are quite memorable. It’s a shame that his final film had to be something so middling.
The few good moments the film has, the interesting music used in the film, and a more engaging Stallone make “Avenging Angelo” better fare than Sly has served up for a while. But that’s only like comparing “Rhinestone” to “Stop or My Mom Will Shoot” – so he’s obviously got a long way to go before his fan-base kicks in again. Hopefully, someone will look at this film, realize that Stallone has the potential to headline a better movie again…and next time I’ll be reviewing a film of his that isn’t just ‘endurable.’