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August 09, 2007


Descent2_2 Daring sex scenes are an obvious way for young filmmakers to prove to the world that they are capable of shocking society. Witness Steven Soderbergh’s "sex, lies and videotape." So it is that upstart filmmaker Talia Lugacy crafts a revenge drama--ala "Ms. 45" or "Irreversible"--where college student (Rosario Dawson) becomes a date-rape victim before setting a revenge trap that culminates in one of the most over-the-top sex scenes in recent memory. Chad Faust ("Saved") plays Jared, the sociopath rapist, with an appropriately menacing and warped romantic air that reflects well off of Rosario Dawson's compact performance. "Descent" is the worst date movie of the year, and the sucker punch that it packs will definitely twist the guts of most viewers into lasting knots. Apart from its obvious exploitation element and disjointed second act, the movie achieves a cool momentum by sheer force of the intimate power play that takes place over the course of a slow build-up. It’s a modern "art film," and there aren’t many of those around anymore.

Rated PG-13, 100 mins. (C+) (Two Stars)


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