The bad news about Se7en (aka Seven) is I could see that "suprise shock ending" a mile off & I regarded it a completely stupid & obvious let-down of a climax, but then I've seen a lot of horror films; fans of crime films who don't see many really brutal films may have found it more extreme. Certainly some of my chums were totally blown away by it & didn't expect that ending at all.
The cliche detective team, Morgan Freeman as the older wiser but emotionally worn out cop & Brad Pitt as the easily baited hotheaded rookie, are standard-issue characters seen time & again in cinema & on television, although being A-list actors improves them considerably.
Good news about Se7en is Kevin Spacey plays the psychopath whose serial killings are inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins. This casting is like the God of Acting taking a trash-horror role & turning it into something divine. He is so yucky & his crimes so grotesque that what we end up with is a lowest possible theme of all horror -- cheezy slasher trasher -- turned into a beautifully acted credible film.
Still, good as Se7en is, even better is the unexpected Devil Movie The Usual Suspects with perhaps the cleverest plot-construction of any film ever of all time, & one of the greatest "reveals" of any climax, worthy of an immediate second viewing after the meaning of it all is understood.
Kaiser Solza is the devil, Prince of Lies, in The Usual Suspects, which has a very impressive cast, with just about everyone doomed except for the snivelling gimp Verbal Kint played by Kevin Spacey. Although widely praised as a classic crime story, there really is a subtle supernatural element that makes it simultaneously one of the great weird tales.
Those two films for 1995 are what made Kevin Spacey's reputation. Within a year he made his directorial debut with Albino Alligator starring Gary Sinise, Matt Dillon, Faye Dunaway & Viggo Mortenson. Though Spacey doesn't appear in his film, it did extend the sense that whether as a great actor or as a director, Spacey must actually personally like seedy themes used to artful effect.
A trio of small time crooks take refuge in a New Orleans bar only to discover they have stumbled into a hostage situation with much, much scarier villains. Compared to Pulp Fiction & Dog Day Afternoon, it is really a one-set movie that plays out cinematically yet has something of the stage play about it too, a very actorly film driven by its performances, which can't often be said of suspense crime thrillers.
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