ORBzine - 2000.06 Cinema Movie Reviews

ORBzine - Movie Reviews June 2000

The Ninth Gate

The Ninth Gate

Director Roman Polanski [ Fearless Vampire Killers, Rosemary's Baby ] delivers a mediocre offering. It has been about 5 years since his previous film, Bitter Moon, which was no better.

Johnny Depp [Nightmare on Elm Street, Legend of Sleepy Hollow ] is a duplicitous book-dealer. He is hired by Frank Langella [Masters of the Universe, Cutthroat Island ] to investigate a book supposedly written by the Devil.

However, Depp is not the only one investigating the book. There are only 3 copies - Depp is given Langella's copy, which was obtained from the husband of Femme Fatale Lena Olin . She wants it back, for her own nefarious purposes. Another interested party is Emannuelle Seigner , the director's wife, who pops up regularly on Depp's quest.

The obvious comparison for this film is with Alan Parker 's far superior Angel Heart. A duplicitous detective is on a satanic case, and everyone he meets gets mysteriously and violently murdered. However, this effort is nowhere near as good. It just fails to summon up the same air of mystery and suspense that Parker's film has. Also, as with most of Polanski's films, the ending is something of an anti-climax.

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