Journey to the End of the Night
Journey to the End of the Night (released 2006) is a very dark drama-thriller that takes place in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Even though it comes across as a foreign film, it is actually a product of First Look Studios, founded in 1993 with headquarters in Century City, California, that is known for specializing in home video releases and TV series. Director Eric Eason also wrote the script which explores the seedy criminal underworld of Brazil and definitely points out why it is preferable to leave this dangerous section of Sao Paulo, Brazil. I was surprised by how negatively Brazil was portrayed in this film, but as with many large cities (including Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York) there will always be those sections of high crime and violence that even the police have difficulty keeping under control. This movie is not for the squeamish and begins where most of us would walk away. I actually fast forwarded the first 5 minutes because of its explicit nature which surprised me for rated R movies normally do not show that extreme. The rest was what one would expect from a typical R rated movie, very adult subject matter and adult language included.
Journey to the End of the Night is about a son (Paul played by Brendan Fraser) who double crosses his father (Sinatra portrayed by Scott Glen). Paul wants to leave Sao Paulo, Brazil with his stepmother, Angie (Catalina Sandino Moreno), who bore Paul's son (but pawned him off as Sinatra's), Samy (Gilson Adal Berto Gomes). He feels his father's big score will give him the money needed for the three of them to life a luxerious life in the United States. This once in a lifetime chance, however, has numerous snags including Sinatra's own plans for retiring with Angie and Samy in the United States; leaving Paul behind to run the brothel. Neither Sinatra or Paul completely trust one another, for they know exactly what type of man the other truly is. Sadly, both Paul and Sinatra's plans become very intertwined and literally mixed up to the point where Sinatra decides to replace the deceased mule Nazda (Matheus Nachtergaele), who was going to take the cocaine to the Nigerian drug lords in exchange for a sizeable chunk of money, with Wemba (Mos Def), the brothel's honest Nigerian cook. Paul, of course, is completely against this action and change of plan, but is unable to stop it so instead, makes other dastardly plans in order to prevent his father from receiving the big score upon delivery from Wemba.
Wemba true to his word, does indeed everything as instructed, but things become even more dicey when local theives try to rob Wemba and knock him out. Fortuneately for Wemba they do not get the money where he had smartly hidden in his backpack. Thankfully Monique (Alice Braga), who is an innocent, wakes Wemba up and offers to help him. Unfortuneately, Wemba does not telephone in time to let Sinatra know he has accomplished the trade and has the money, which precipitates Sinatra into creating a search for Wemba; not solely for the money but because he actually likes as well as trusts Wemba and fears for Wemba's safety. Unlike Paul who has hired two men, Rodrigo (Milhem Cortaz) and Boris (Vandin Nikitin), to kill Wemba and then for them to bring the money Wemba received from the Nigerian drug lord Lazare (Luke Denis Nolan) to him.
The rest of Journey to the End of the Night graphically portrays how insane and far Paul will go against (backstab) his father, which is lower than any person (related or not) should ever do. Paul definity is a criminal and lunatic who is severely addicted to drugs; completely beyond any redemption. Paul claims he loves Angie, but she knows what type of murdering criminal Paul truly is. Angie appreciates all Sinatra has done for her and Samy's safety which includes insisting Wemba watch over them when he finally returns with the money. It is Sinatra's dying wish that Angie, Wemba, and Samy leave Brazil forever with the money and have a good life. This tragic ending, only 3 survivors, points out that if you live your life as a gangster type of criminal, there is only one method of retirement which is death.
My personal reaction to this movie was negative. I felt robbed of a good time. It was one shock value scene after another, highly unnecessary and the shock value effect was completely over done. Some dark Drama-Thrillers I like, and others I do not. Journey to the End of the Night had a fifty-fifty per cent chance and lost. This was the worst Brendan Fraser and Scott Glen film I have viewed due to subject material; not because of their extraordinary acting abilities. All actors in this film did a great acting performance, obviously as they were directed by Eric Eason.
Journey to the End of the Night is 1 hour 30 minutes in length. It felt more like 2 hours and I was glad to finally reach the end. This movie is a complete waste of time. Brendan Fraser and Scott Glen are in numerous other more tasteful superior films. Recommend watching these other better movies. Need an example? Try The Mummy movie series for Brendan Fraser. You can find Scott Glen in The Hunt for Red October and The Right Stuff which are two excellent films to place on the "must see" list.
More about Scott Glen
Scott Glen started his career with the movie Baby Maker (1970). Since then he has been in about 66 movies, the last being Grizzly (2015). These movies range in just about every genre including Action-Adventure, Western and Thriller. The most well known Western he was in is titled Silverado (1985).
Mr. Glen is also known Off-Broadway and Broadway for his theatrical performances. He is very well known and respected in the Entertainment Industry. Throughout his career, Mr. Glen has proven he can play more than the gritty tough hero guy or mobster; very versatile in his acting ability.
As of 2015, there is no record of him receiving an Oscar or Emmy even though he has been in movies and on TV programs throughout his 45 year career. This in my opinion is a gross oversight for Scott Glen is one of the best in his field. He should already have at least one of each.
Take the time to watch as many Scott Glen movies as you can. Recommend parents watch the movies first before allowing minors to view with them. As a parent and grandparent I always advocate this parenting technique for the protection of young minds. To learn more about Scott Glen and to see a list of his films please visit Wikipedia.
Brendan Fraser Movies I recommend to watch
1. Encino Man (1992): I regard this a comedy classic great for teenage and older. He plays the caveman found in the backyard. I give this hilarious fun movie 4 stars.
2. Mrs. Winterbourne (1996): Brendan stars with Shirley Maclaine and Ricki Lake. He plays twin identical brothers (a dual role) perfectly. I give this movie 4 stars (loved it, but not excellent enough for 5 stars).
3. George of the Jungle (1997): Family fun and just as silly as the 60's cartoon TV program George of the Jungle. Brendan Fraser plays George excellently. This move I gift 3 stars (liked it, but not good enough plot for 4 stars).
4. Dudley Do-Right (1999): Family fun, definitely does the 60's cartoon TV program justice. Most kids would love this campy movie with excellent acting. Brendan Fraser portrayed Dudley Do-Right to a tee. This movie receives 3 stars from me for the same reasons as #3.
5. Blast from the Past (1999): A favorite movie I have watched several times. This film gifts wholesome comedy with a science fiction plot. Brendan plays someone born and reared in a bomb shelter who in his twenties has to venture out into modern day society to get supplies. I give this movie 5 stars for great acting, superb props and costumes, super points made in film, plus how well this comedy was put together.
6. The Quiet American (2001): Brendan Fraser co-starred with Michael Kane in this dark, yet excellent twisted type of plot movie. He plays an American economic aide worker in Saigon 1952 who gets caught up in intrigue and finds himself way out of his depth in a foreign country. No happy ending warning for those who prefer them. I give this 5 stars due to excellent story line within a convoluted attention grabbing plot, excellent acting, accurate looking 1952 props plus costumes, and perfect filmography.
7. The Mummy movie series [The Mummy (1999), The Mummy Returns (2001), The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)]: This adventure movie series is one of the best in my opinion. I give the entire series 5 stars! Brendan is not the only well known actor in each of these. Watch these to see who you recognize while enjoying great plots with action packed adventure!
8. Bedazzled (2000, a Harold Ramis directed movie): Quirky, fun and brings up good points about dealing with the devil. Enjoyed this humorous non-preachy story-line. I give it 3 stars due to a thin, not strong, plot. A great teen family fun night movie. Of course, parents watch first to ensure it is right for your family.
9. Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008): I enjoyed this rendition of the Jules Verne classic science fiction tale. It is different than the earlier movies with same title. The props and special effects are top notch; is a good action-adventure movie too. This movie received from me 5 stars for its excellence.
10. Inkheart (2009): My favorite Brendan Fraser movie. Click here to see my hub and what I rated this great movie. This book lover enjoyed this fun family fantasy genre film very much!
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