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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A tough B movie with average performances, February 15, 2009
This review is from: Paid (DVD)
I got this for the store as several of my customers who follow Novela/Soap mentioned that a well known actor (Murilo Benicio) was starring in a crime drama. A decent cast supplements a weak story about a hitman with morals, a prostitute with rules, a drug lord who should have been dead years ago, and a recently orphaned child all crossing paths in Amsterdam.

To try and describe all of the small world subplots of sex, drugs and double crosses would stagger even the interested, but needless to say they all gave a valiant effort under the direction of an unknown crew. It might be worth the investment for some of the fans that follow these known actors in their respective environments, but this film is a minor compilation for them. The writing seemed so confused at times that the characters become unfathomable.

No extras on the DVD, and the ending was wholeheartedly irritating and contrived. Maybe next time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars good acting (Murilo Benício great as always, and still gorgeous), but awful screenplay, December 5, 2012
This review is from: Paid (DVD)
If acting were all, this would be a great movie. Every performance by the large international cast is excellent. Unfortunately, movies also have writers and directors - in this case Dutch writer-director Laurence Lamers.

He chose to make this movie - about gangsters in Amsterdam - entirely in English, which may be part of the problem, since the dialog often sounds like it came from a John Wayne or Edward G Robinson movie. Tom Conti - one of only two native English-speakers in the cast (Corbin Bernsen is the other) is credited with "Additional Dialog Corrections", which may explain why his dialog was mostly free of such peculiarities; but the unfortunate French, Brazilian, German, Dutch, etc, cast members didn't have that native understanding of the language to help them with their dialog (Bernsen seems not to have cared, because his is just as bad), and they're the ones who more often sound like characters caught in a Star Trek space/time warp.

But dialog isn't the only flaw - the story has serious problems of its own that can't be blamed on Lamers's unfamiliarity with English. It's interesting to have violent gangsters behave in unconventional ways (and Conti is an interesting and unusual villain), but there are limits to which credulity can be stretched. That a little Bolivian boy with no noticeable charm and no connection to any other character, without saying a word except his name - Luis - would simply by his presence totally upend the lives of a dozen or so hardened criminals is just too much. That's not the only glaring incongruity, but it's the biggest.

So Paid is worth watching for the good acting and the sometimes interesting oddity of casting a French actor as an Italian who speaks English and sings in Spanish, a Brazilian actor as a Frenchman, etc (all speaking their various versions of English) - and for oddballs like me who saw Murilo Benício's astounding performance in Possible Loves and now are hot on the trail of his other work.
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Paid by Laurence Lamers (DVD - 2009)
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