Don't Tempt Me R

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(28) IMDb 6.5/10

Envoys of Heaven and Hell fight for the soul of a boxer.

Starring:
Victoria Abril, Penélope Cruz
Runtime:
1 hour, 48 minutes

Don't Tempt Me

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Customer Reviews

This film is very good fun.
Genevieve Hayes
There was a lot of ideas going into this movie, too many ideas.
Eric Vondy
By the end of the film, no one is free from sin or virtue.
SORE EYES

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By John D. Robertson on December 19, 2005
Format: DVD
Don't Tempt Me represents a commentary on the value of the structure of morality. Essentially, the film revolves around the competition between Heaven and Hell for mortal souls in the beginning but about mid-way through the film we begin to see that the key moral conflict of the modern era is not between good and evil, but between morality and amorality.

The co-operation between the minions of Heaven and Hell to throw the soul of Manny the boxer to heaven is in order to prevent Heaven from shutting down and thus empowering the managerial cabal in Hell to seize power from the general manager of Hell, a traditionalist concerned with the maintenance of Hell as a place of punishment, demonstrates this conflict. This cabal is not evil in the conventional sense, nor is it good. It does not concern itself with these categories at all, and it is this which is truly radical about their movement. They seek not to be good or evil but efficient. They disregard the categories in totality and in so doing seek to dismantle the very framework of good and evil which underlies the concepts and allows them to make sense at all.

This representation of true `evil', if such a term can successfully be applied to them, is implicitly a commentary on the globalization and corporatization which represents such a powerful force in today's world. The film indicts the pursuit of profits as an end in itself free of moral judgement as an existential threat to the very concepts of good and evil, represented as the general managers of Heaven and Hell.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By SORE EYES on November 2, 2009
Format: DVD
Heaven and hell are battling over gaining the one soul that will finally tip the balance of humanity in their favor. Each side sends agents to earth (Victoria Abril and Penelope Cruz) to persuade an aging boxer (Demian Bichir) to small acts of kindness.

Though this plot has been done to death in Hollywood, Don't Tempt Me is anything but hackneyed. It's funny, the characters are developed, and the ideas about good and evil are original-even blasphemous. By the end of the film, no one is free from sin or virtue. Angels contemplate crimes for an ultimate good. Hell's minions cross the line to keep the balance in the universe. God is curiously absent from the mix. Humans and angels seek justice through earthly channels-souls are argued for by horse wigged barristers in courts, the virtuous are sexually seduced and even loved by the devil's henchmen, and problems are solved with guns.

Writer/director Augustin Diaz Yanes' script has some nice touches. Hell's director is the author of The Catcher in the Rye. Paris is heaven. And the head of the International Monetary Fund is hell's bean cruncher.

I'm a big Penelope Cruz fan and wouldn't miss one of her pictures, but Don't Tempt Me has merit independent of Cruz. Recommended.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2004
Format: DVD
DON'T TEMPT ME (or SIN NOTICIAS DE DIOS in the original) is a sparkling, surreal, humorous, and meaty bit of filmmaking of the type that we have come to expect form the Spanish School of Cinema. Augustin Diaz Yanes both wrote and directed this absorbing parable and has cast it with some of the finest talent from around the globe. His use of smart dialogue, choices of cinematic technique, and rapid fire pacing drives this delicious tale along the paths of Bunuel, Almodovar, etc.
The plot: the corporate executives (American profiles of course - though played by British actors like Gemma Jones all speaking in English) of Hell have found a strong need to obtain the soul of a living boxer (Demian Bichir) to join them in Hell. The recruiter Jack (in a terrific performance by the extraordinarily gifted Gael Garcia Bernal) agrees to assign worker Carmen (Penelope Cruz, finally in a role that allows her to demonstrate her broad range of acting skills from drama to comedy) to go to earth to finalize this corporate decision. Meanwhile, in Heaven (quite appropriately filmed in black and white in Paris where the one in charge is Marina d'Angelo played with subtle charm by Fanny Ardant and using French as the language) the elected angel to foster the heavenly admission of the boxer is Victoria Abril (more beautiful than ever and pulling off the heavenly role as a chanteuse with aplomb).
Cruz and Abril move in with Bichir, become involved in the struggle over his soul as well as attempting to thwart the results of Bichir's chaotic life as a has-been, in debt boxer. The remainder of the tale is a back and forth pitting of heavenly and Hadean forces and their bungling of both sides of the pitch for Bichir's soul.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wenddy Ayerdis on December 10, 2005
Format: DVD
The battle between good and evil continues in a race to win one man's soul, the one that can destroy the delicate balance between these forces....

You would assume that this movie was actually concerned with the battle between God and Satan, but that is only the façade presented to the audience. Penelope Cruz plays the part of a demonic agent called Carmen who loves alcohol, sex, and freedom, but also has a secret of her own that affects the sexual tension and events in the movie. Her counterpart is Lola, a good angel sent by heaven to save the soul of a boxer, Manny. Uniquely, Lola's role in heaven is to be a seductive lounge singer who looks like those from the early to mid -1900s. This role as a lounge singer is depicting an earlier time period, which can be seen in the parts of the movie when she is singing, which are in black and white. These differences between what constitute hell and heaven (and their inhabitants) leads to the true hidden message in this movie, which is the idea of globalization.

God and Satan are used here as a representation between the feuding parties that are for and against globalization. Globalization is meant to be seen as the negative idea in this movie, therefore it is depicted as all that is concerned with hell. The idea revolving around globalization is that it is a way for the IMF to "help" other nations become modernized by lending them money and restructuring their economy, while not forgetting to make their own wallets bigger. The IMF is present in the movie, when the IMF president or high executive is judged in hell, and as his punishment he is made part of circle 33 where his identity is changed to that of an illegal immigrant.
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