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Intacto

Year: 2001
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Cast: Max Von Sydow
Not as exciting or interesting as it looked like it was going to be, but it's a very original premise. Just a shame it was (to an extent) restricted from achieving its potential by never properly explaining itself and by meandering too slowly through the story.

We meet the 'hero' (who, being a European arthouse movie, may well be the villain - or both) working at a resort casino in the middle of an otherworldly desert run by an aged American (Von Sydow). His job, it seems, is to trade luck, which can be given and taken through touch. If a punter starts to rack up too big, his job is to take their luck away from them.

Expelled from the casino's employ for a reason I couldn't work out, he attaches himself to a plane crash survivor (who has ample amounts of the elusive quality) and hatches a scheme to make money (again, one I couldn't quite fathom). They enter a world of high-stakes gambling by playing several abstractly ridiculous games (running through a thick forest blindfolded, seeing whose head a giant glowing insect lands on first) before the heroes past catches up with him and he must take his new prodigy to meet his old mentor and new nemesis, all the while a pretty cop on their tails with her own history of luck both good and bad.

The whole thing is pretty striking visually, but an unclear job of telling its story goes some way to ruining the experience.

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