Journey to the End of the Night

Journey to the End of the Night

Director: Eric Eason Cast: Scott Glenn, Brendan Fraser, Mos Def
4.2 5

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Journey to the End of the Night 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like it when a film takes me somewhere I've never been, and Journey to the End of the Night is one of the few English-language films set in the dark underbelly of Sao Paulo, Brazil, one of the most chaotic and crowded cities in the Western Hemisphere. Scott Glenn and Brendan Fraser play an American father and son running a nightclub and brothel, who come into possession of a suitcase full of cocaine. They make a deal to sell the coke to African dealers, but after their drug mule drops dead in a particularly compromising situation, they draft their Nigerian dishwasher (Mos Def) into delivering the goods. Meanwhile, Fraser is planning to double-cross his father and run off with his wife, played by the stunning Catalina Sandino Moreno (an Oscar nominee for Maria Full of Grace). still from Journey to the End of the NightFraser will always be the unfrozen cavemen from Encino Man to me, so I was skeptical of his ability to play a backstabbing cokehead prone to bouts of shocking violence, but darned if he doesn't pull it off, effectively portraying a man driven increasingly paranoid by his intricate plan running off the rails. Mos Def is also very effective as an African immigrant caught up in a drug deal - indeed, he's easily the most sympathetic character in the film, and I wish we had learned more about his story. The male characters in Journey to the End of the Night are compelling, but the women - especially the underused Moreno - are given little to do. The plot of Journey to the End of the Night relies a bit too heavily on coincidence for my taste. (I don't want to give too much away, but one character turns out to be an unlikely English-speaker, while the prostitute present when the original drug mule died just happens to have a violent run-in with Fraser later in the film.) But the performances and characters make the film worth seeing. Journey to the End of the Night was directed by Eric Eason, whose only previous film was the ultra-low-budget 2002 release Manito. Neither of his directorial efforts have been rewarded with a major theatrical release, but one hopes this will give him the opportunity to direct something bigger.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Journey to the End of the Night Review by Thomas Spurlin To be straight to the point, Journey to the End of the Night is a much better film than expected. Sure, the cast is superb. However, the convoluted, brash nature of the story sets an excessively exploitative tone at first glance. Once the film starts rolling from its dilapidated, exotic starting gate, the brimming talent of director Eric Eason starts to gradually lift this film above such a claim. Though not a perfect film and still possessing a few plot eccentricities that felt both easy and a bit overzealous for some tastes, Journey to the End of the Night is a surprisingly taut drama benchmarked by fine, natural performances. The Film: Money, sex, and crime plague the urban streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The town seems collapsed upon this epidemic, though also firmly supported by the same vices. Everyone amidst the tortuous, winding streets seems to be running from something. Journey to the End of the Night is a tale firmly laced within the fabric of a dangerous series of events that span a full evening. Entangled within this web of chaos is Paul "Brendan Fraser", son to one of the town's weathered, premiere pimps Sinatra "Scott Glenn". Though both involved within an industry marred by malignance, each man seems bent on fleeing the town to provide a better life for ex-prostitute Maria "Catalina Sandino Moreno" and her child. Both lost in this labyrinth seeking a way out, corruption isn't beside either man - even amidst their own family. Amazing things happen in this corrupt underbelly, such as inexplicable deaths during sex acts and immense loads of unclaimed narcotics abandoned due to murderous activity. Though already down a path of malignant reprise, this father-son pair manages to get entangled within a scenario that involves everything this anarchistic maze has to offer. Forced to make a split decision regarding a "delivery", Sinatra procures the help of Wemba "Mos Def", a Nigerian dishwasher that so happens to speak the tongue needed by the gentlemen later that evening. What ensues is a tangled web of chaos within the Brazilian night that seems to have no end in plain vision. Reflective of the gritty cinematography and narrative that's become richly effective with many modern films, Journey to the End of the Night is quite a treat to behold. A blinding palette of reds and yellows pours through the film like cautionary stoplights. While numerous crime films glorify and romanticize the lives of such corrupt people, this film makes certain to convey the grit and brashly unpleasant nature of such an environment. Such a life will not appear desirable, nor should it. What's truly surprising is the intent, bubbling hunger within each character. Though scraping to make the best of the situation, the denizens of Sao Paulo equally display their fervent, absorbed rage to escape their transitional stay in this network of filth. Both Glenn's Sinatra and Mos Def's Wemba rely heavily on the fusion between each actor's effortlessly gripping charisma and the lost nature of the character. These guys need to escape towards a better life, and this point is well conveyed by their potent demeanor. Alongside many other finely assembled characters, like Moreno's retired woman of the night, these fine performances craft a terrific support structure for this story of tumultuous collapse. The star of the show, however, is Brendan Fraser. Though never given a part where he can fluidly stretch his dramatic poignancy, he does so in Journey to the End of the Night exceptionally well. Paul wishes for a richer life outside of his father's brothel, not for the malign of others. Fraser's natural innocence and charismatic nature lends this property to Paul, whereas other heavily dramatic actors would have to struggle to present both. He has his moments where his inherently comical nature cannot be swallowed down however,
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loyalty, betrayal and father-son themes play out on the rough streets of Sao Paulo in Journey to the End of the Night, an ambitious film that ranges from fast action to quieter character growth. Glenn plays Rosso, an American nightclub owner in Brazil who sees a chance for a big score when he comes into possession of a large cache of drugs he can sell. Rosso enlists his son Paul (Fraser) to join in the deal, but the son has an agenda of his own. The hot-tempered Paul has designs on his father’s young and beautiful wife and hopes to use the drug deal as a means of running away with her. Problems arise when their assigned middle-man in the drug deal dies, leaving Rosso and Paul to rely on one of the kitchen workers, Nigerian immigrant Wemba (Mos Def), to make the transaction on their behalf. When Wemba is assaulted after making the deal, it sets in motion a frantic chase, mistaken blame and the further revealing of secrets. Also in the mix are several women looking to better their lives in an otherwise inhospitable atmosphere. Journey to the End of the Night uses tough-guy violence and hints of Brazilian mysticism to move the story, becoming a sort of magic-realism tale at times. The film allows Fraser to play a cruel, bombastic nut job unlike any of his previous roles, and once again shows the talented Mos Def as a sensitive, intelligent actor capable of extending his reach. Not a concise or perfect drama, Journey to the End of the Night is a well-made thriller that allows entry into an exotic world of crime and vice while also remaining mostly a character piece. The DVD includes a making-of featurette. —Dan Bennett
Guest More than 1 year ago
If Mos Def isn’t careful, people will begin to call him an actor before they consider his music. In another stand- out supporting role, Mos Def used his gifts of subtlety, facial expressions, and his ear for dialects to literally carry a sometimes shaky Journey to the End of the Night. Journey to the End of the Night was the brain-child of writer/director Eric Eason "Manito". Eason, who won critical acclaim for ‘Manito’ attempts to bring the same qualities of unique camera angles and a visceral story to bear in Journey. Eason, who traveled extensively throughout South America, draws from his experiences to tell a compelling story with the backdrop of a seedy section of the Sao Paulo megalopolis. But the seedy location is necessary for the plot of Journey to the End of the Night - which is ultimately a journey into the darkness of the human heart. The story is about a father and a son, their sins, and their desperation to begin anew – for a salvific new beginning. Scott Glenn "Training Day" plays Rosso the father of Brendan Fraser’s "Crash" character Paul. Scott Glenn, who plays stoic better than Shakespeare’s Brutus could ever have imagined, manages a brothel. Rosso "Glenn" is a man surrounded by mystery. He has owned and managed his brothel for almost twenty-years and is unable to return to the United States for some unknown reason. But Rosso is ready to retire and move to a more relaxed life in northern Brazil with his wife, Angie "Catalina Moreno, Maria Full of Grace", a former prostitute in his brothel, and their son. The brothel will then belong to Rosso’s son Paul "Fraser", a junkie and gambler with crippling debts, an entrenched hatred of his father, and a passion for his father’s wife, Angie. But Paul, like his father, is also trapped, chained to the brothel for a meager income that is a perpetual reminder to both men of their own fetid souls. It is this desperation that drives the men, father and son, into a one-time drug deal, a deal with the potential to set both men free. However when the movie opens, we see fate toying with Rosso and Paul’s dreams like a cat with a mouse. The drug mule for their deal is hilt-deep in a tantric tussle with a transvestite when he suddenly dies. When news of the drug mule’s demise reaches the brothel, both men are concerned, but they handle the situation in very different ways. Paul "Fraser" begins his slow descent into madness. Paul calls Angie, his sometimes lover and actual father of the son Rosso believes to be his own, and wails that the drug deal is their only chance to leave Brazil together. For you see, Paul intends to rob Rosso of his money, and leave the country with both his family and money. Rosso "Glenn" proves his stoicism when he learns of the drug mule’s death. While he understands that the drug money is the only way out the brothel and Sao Paulo for him and his family, Rosso takes action. He goes to the brothel kitchen and asks Wemba "Mos Def", a Nigerian immigrant, for a favor. Wemba, a true innocent, is the perfect replacement because he can speak Yoruba, a requirement of their African drug contact, and his honesty. And the movie revolves around this one night, a night that seems never ending because so much is at stake. Rosso and Paul have their futures and seemingly their souls at stake and the innocent Wemba has staked his life on this journey. The night, which adds a claustrophobic, ominous weight to the movie, becomes a character as we see the various creatures that prowl and lurk the streets. One wonders if there will ever be a morning, a ray of sunlight to disperse the oppressive hell that rides with us and Wemba on the journey to the drug d
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those of us who found much to admire and appreciate in Eric Eason's 2002 little powerhouse of a film MANITO that placed Franky G in the limelight as a sound actor inside that hunky exterior, the release of JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT held much promise. Unfortunately with moving into the arena of 'major features' with popular big actors in a script that is deeply in need of surgery proves a step too quickly taken. While it is easy to see Eason's intentions in this very dark (literally!) film, it is compulsively doctored with phony 'reality ideas' that misfire. The basic story is a family of Americans who are deeply involved in the crime scene (brothels) of São Paulo, Brazil, intricately bound in their crime acts but both planning to escape the quagmire of the dingy life of the city and return to America. The father Sinatra (Scott Glenn) is living with Angie (Catalina Sandino Moreno - the star of 'Maria Full of Grace') and they have a small child: Sinatra's son Paul (Brendan Fraser) is also in love with Angie and plans an escape from the dregs of Sao Paulo after he manages to work a drug pass engineered by his father. The sale is to Nigerians who speak Yoruba and when the 'messenger' meant to pass the drugs for the money abruptly dies in a brothel with a transgender prostitute, the panic begins: who can make the pass that night? Sinatra hires a Nigerian, Yoruba speaking dishwasher Wemba (Mos Def) who agrees to take the drugs to the drop site and it seems Wemba is the only decent character to keep his bargain and his word. Paul is enraged with the death of the original middleman and ends up disfiguring the prostitute present at his death. The drug deal falls into problems, Paul is unable to convince Angie to stand by him (which mean leaving Paul's father and the possible endangerment of her son), and things bog down plot-wise so that story ultimately ends with the only persons to care about are Angie and Wemba. Eason makes his story all happen in one night and the constant factor is a greenish darkness that hides almost everything - and that may be a good thing! The script is Swiss cheese, the acting is for the most part sadly directed, the cast is poorly chosen, and the only real redeeming factor is the chance to watch Mos Def continue to flesh out his career with well executed character roles. Eric Eason holds much promise as a director (he was the awarded best emerging filmmaker by first annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York City in 2002), so perhaps this excursion into the 'big screen realm' can be forgiven as overstepping his material. In the end JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT is hopefully just a sidestep for a director who obviously has considerable talent. Grady Harp