Movie Review: Little Odessa (1994)
“Brothers in blood. Partners in crime.”
Little Odessa (1994)
Director: James Gray
Cast: Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Moira Kelly
Synopsis: A jaded hitman returns to his roots to carry out a hit.
Little Odessa, James Gray’s unrelentingly bleak tale of a hit-man’s reluctant return to his roots while carrying out a hit, is the kind of film that leaves me cold. I don’t mind dark movies, but for me there has to be shades of darkness throughout. This film – which is still unquestionably an astonishingly accomplished debut from Gray – simply never lets up, and its pessimistic world view eventually becomes exhausting. It’s a world without hope or redemption, a fatalistic dirge that seems to wallow in its own misery. Tim Roth (Arbitrage, Hardcore Henry) isn’t one of my favourite actors, but he’s pretty good here – perhaps because he is called upon to conceal his emotions behind a blank expression. His character is not a likable man – in fact he’s seriously damaged and uses his gun as a defence against the world as much as he does a weapon. The entire cast give credible performances, but it’s Maximilian Schell (St. Ives) as Roth’s deeply flawed father who stands out.
(Reviewed 14th January 2012)