Boarding Gate (2007)
My Rating : 3/5 STAR
Director Oliver Assayas has established his name by crafting well-made erotic thrillers like DEMONLOVER and CLEAN. The director sticks closely to his guns by adding another similarly themed entry to his canon in BOARDING GATE. Assayas’s film is a loosely plotted drama that stars the provocative Asia Argento (SCARLET DIVA) as Sandra, a former prostitute with a penchant for S&M, narcotics, and assassination. Sandra’s former flame, sleazy businessman Miles (Michael Madsen), wants to get back together with her, and the two meet after indulging in some steamy phone sex. Sandra murders Miles during a bout of coital rough-and-tumble, and she flees to Hong Kong to be with her new lover, Lester (Carl Ng).
But Sandra finds herself on the run as she arrives in Hong Kong, with Lester’s wife, Sue (Kelly Lin), aiming to permanently cut her husband’s mistress out of his life. Assayas has a fondness for casting striking leading ladies, such as Maggie Cheung (IRMA VEP, CLEAN) and Connie Nielsen (DEMONLOVER), and Argento’s role in BOARDING GATE fits neatly alongside these in the director’s oeuvre.
The early, dialogue-heavy scenes give Argento and Madsen plenty of time to establish their tawdry relationship, but when Assayas transports the action to Hong Kong, the movie takes a different turn as the director sets up some nerve-jarring chase sequences. The director infuses the movie with all his usual visual flair–the shaky, hand-held camera work and dimly lit sets perfectly reflect the seedy nature of Assayas’s subject matter–but BOARDING GATE will mostly be remembered for Argento’ s supremely confident performance.