Theres basically one reason to see Olivier Assayass self-consciously meta-sleazy English/French/Chinese-language globo-thriller Boarding Gate, and her name is Asia Argento. Argentos Sandraa Paris-based ex-hooker, erstwhile industrial spy, freelance drug dealer, and eventual hit ladyis introduced with her back to the camera and hair piled up, the better to display the 23 tattooed on the nape of her neck: Shes hot stuff. Sandras former lover, the capitalist swine Miles (beefy Michael Madsen), wants out of his import-export racket, and he wants Sandra back in his life. The pair embark on a long conversation on who got off on what, during the course of which Sandra, being Argento, pokes the finger of one hand into her mouth while idly exploring her crotch with the other. There hasnt been so insolent a bad girl since the late-70s punk queen Lydia Lunch, nor so bizarre a femme fatale since the pre-humanitarian Angelina Jolie. Boarding Gate returns to the jagged yet posh faux-vérité style that Assayas introduced in his last international thriller, 2002s Demonlover; the film is a mélange of suave jump cuts, confusing closeups and light-smearing action pans. But, unlike Demonlover, Boarding Gate has little new to offer, and Assayass attempt to hijack and import a strobe-lit, glass-shattering, Hong Kongstyle chase-cum-shootout, complete with drugged drinks and interpolated karaoke, is disappointingly mediocre.
Olivier AssayasAsia Argento, Michael Madsen, Carl Ng, Kelly Lin, Joana Preiss, Alex Descas, Kim GordonOlivier AssayasFrançois MargolinMagnolia Pictures