Uno Bianca

foreign films

Uno Bianca
Made in: Italy
Language: Italian
Director: Michele Soavi
Starring: Kim Rossi Stuart, Dino Abbrescia
Year: 2001

Synopsis: For five years, a mysterious group of gunman have been wreaking havoc by robbing random stores, gas stations, and banks. They call themselves the "White Uno Gang," or "Banda della Uno Bianca." The name comes from the specific model of car known as the Uno, made by Fiat, which the gunman use in all their crime sprees.

Loads of cash are stolen, random civilians and police officers have been injured or killed, and no evidence is ever left behind at the crime scenes. Are these guys terrorists? Gangsters? Or common thieves who just rob and kill for the thrill?

When police inspector Valerio Maldesi (Kim Rossi Stuart) and his partner Rocco (Dino Abbrescia) are ambushed by the infamous criminals in an operation that leaves their superior officer dead, the two set out to put an end to the Uno Bianca thugs once and for all. But as with all determined detectives, bureaucratic district chiefs and other red tape get in their way.

Undeterred, Valerio and Rocco painstakingly track down the bad guys, following small clues and eventually piecing parts of the mystery together. But as they come closer to solving the case, they find that the criminals are more dangerous, and closer, than they first anticipated.

The Good: One of the most interesting things about foreign movies is noticing differences between our cultures and someone else's. Another neat thing is noticing what other cultures have in common with ours, despite a different history and being separated by an ocean.

Uno Bianca is an Italian cop thriller that aired on TV in two parts. And despite being in Italian, it's pretty much indistinguishable (plot-wise) from any American police action drama that you've seen.

Running over three hours long in its entirety, this movie is very well-made, detailed, and very entertaining. Acclaimed director Michele Soavi takes a bunch of cop story cliches that we've seen a million times on shows like Miami Vice and manages to make it look and feel more impressive than the by-the-numbers storyline would otherwise suggest.

For the most part, Uno Bianca is pretty predictable but it's so well directed and the story so well-developed that it actually takes puts you on the edge of your seat in several places. For us Americans, it's a pretty fun experience to see such a familiar-looking premise done in Italian.

The Bad: Although pretty-boy Kim Rossi Stuart does a good job as the protagonist, his character is a little too flawless. Giving his character a few more weaknesses would have made the movie a little more interesting.

Also, minor plot holes might bother you a little.

I mean, how can a group of armed gunmen (who act like trigger-happy psychos half the time) evade local and federal authorities for five years? And why does a so-called professional thief rob a bank while wearing the same exact clothes that he wore when staking out the bank a few weeks earlier, knowing there was a surveillance camera in the vicinity? Little things like that might bother you.

Who would like this movie: Uno Bianca is on par with any police adventure produced in Hollywood, so if you like a straightforward thriller this will be pretty entertaining. But as far as international movies go, it's not exactly an eye-opening experience in terms of substance since the subject matter's so familiar.

(3 out of 4 stars, because the directing was so good)

Review written by: Joe Yang

Netflix, Inc.

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