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Kit Ryan’s “Botched”, an English-language film made with European money and starring one notable American actor surrounded by a cast of foreigners, is not what you think it is. The title would seem to infer some type of heist movie, and yes, it is indeed a heist film — or at least, it starts out as one. Beyond the initial heisting, it’s one of the strangest movies I’ve seen, a combination of “From Dusk Til Dawn” mixed with your traditional horror-comedy slapstick, complete with goofy fast-motion gags and gore aplenty.
Stephen Dorff (“Blade”) stars as an American who, because of a family debt, ends up in Russia to do a job at the behest of a Russian mobster (Sean Pertwee, sporting a gleefully awful Russian accent). In Moscow, things are going just fine for our criminal and his two incompetent accomplices, but this wouldn’t be much of a movie if thing stayed that way. Soon, the perfect getaway is foiled, and the criminal gets stuck on the unused thirteenth floor of a bank building with a handful of hostages — three bible thumpers, two cowardly CPA types, a macho ex-soldier security guard, and the beautiful Jaime Murray (“Dexter”), showing off enough cleavage and legs for three movies.
And oh yeah, there is a maniac who claims to be the descendent of Ivan the Terrible running around the thirteenth floor trying to chop their heads off. Don’t you just hate one of those days?
“Botched” is not an easy movie to classify, but it does get one thing very, very right: it is stupidly entertaining from beginning to end. There is a level of absurdity throughout, and everyone in the cast save for star Stephen Dorff seems to be goofing off for effect. Dorff has the unenviable position of having to play straight man to just about everyone else in the cast. The affected Russian accents by the cast are uniformly terrible, which is probably the point. Or if not, then it’s still funny anyway.
First-time director Kit Ryan keeps the film moving at a nice, breezy clip, getting down to the nitty gritty with plenty of time to spare. The violence is appropriately cartoonish, with plenty of gore for the gorehounds, and enough absurd situations and plot twists to keep the viewer from drifting off during the downtimes. If there is one downside, it’s the film’s set, which gets reused repeatedly throughout the movie to represent different parts of the same floor. Still, that minor quibble is easy enough to overlook, and can be blamed on a limited budget.
“Botched” is certainly not one of those movies that beg for a long review. It’s good, clean fun, if by “good clean fun” you count gross-out comedy, gore, random acts of extreme violence, and of course, decapitations aplenty. There’s also the perfunctory chemistry between the two leads, where they meet, fall in love, and decide to move to L.A. by the end of the film because, well, why not? That’s “Botched” for ya in a nutshell. It ain’t Shakespeare, but it was certainly a good time. Just don’t take it too seriously.
Kit Ryan (director) / Derek Boyle, Eamon Friel, Raymond Friel (screenplay)
CAST: Jaime Murray … Anna
Stephen Dorff … Ritchie
Sean Pertwee … Mr. Groznyi
Jamie Foreman … Peter
Russell Smith … Yuri
Bronagh Gallagher … Sonya
Norma Sheahan … Helena