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Don't Tempt Me

3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Heaven has sent its best, and the devil has enlisted his worst - Victoria Abril and Penelope Cruz co-star as agents doing battle for ultimate supremacy. The winner is to be decided by whoever can secure the soul of a short-tempered, punch-drunk boxer on earth. These sexy angels pull no punches, using their brains, wiles and of course, sex appeal. Damnation has never been this seductive, and seduction never more heavenly; he's not going to know what hit him...he's only human!

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Heaven/Hell Can Wait April 4 2004
In one clever twist of fate, two beautiful angels -- one from Heaven and one from Hell -- collide on the road of fate to save the soul for their respective kingdoms in the whimsical DON'T TEMPT ME.
The voluptuous Penelope Cruz stars as Carmen, a man turned into a woman upon her arrival in Hell. However, when the corporate kingpins of the Underworld conspire to seize control of the real 'Land Down Under,' she's given a chance to return to Earth (in heavenly form) for a battle of wits against Lola (played by the equally sultry Victoria Abril), an angel starting to grow weary of always serving as a do-gooder who happens to be sent to Earth to claim the same misguided soul. Together, the two have a quirky comic chemistry (watch the scenes of Carmen trying to teach Lola how to hold a gun) that keeps the picture moving, despite some plotholes along the way.
While TEMPT borders on a kind of comic genius, it never quite reaches the pearly gates of comedy. Again, the script (or the story) is the key, and, while many elements are played very tightly against one another in unique parallels, writer (and director) Agustin Diaz Yanes just keeps missing the mark to raise the bar from the predictable to the unpredictable ... the true benchmark of any great comedy.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Big Ideas Poorly Implemented March 28 2004
There was a lot of ideas going into this movie, too many ideas. Heaven and Hell battle over the soul of one man, a disfunctional boxer. Tacked onto this relatively simple plot is a lot of trappings -- glimpses of Hell and Heaven that should have been developed more. With Hell being an English speaking corporation and Heaven being Paris is an interesting concept, it actually proved to be more interesting the dismal boxer story. But we got only glimpses of what the afterlife was like and spent too much time focussed on the less-interesting and less-orignal boxer's fate.
Dogma took on similar subject matter and pulled it off much better. In Dogma the glimpses given of Heaven & Hell (Chris Rock, Alan Rickman, Penelope Cruz, the roller skating hockey playing kids) felt realized. I didn't need more time with Alanis Morrisette's God to understand Her or more time with Jason Lee's character to understand him. Here, I didn't understand the inner workings the afterlife. I had a lot more questions even about the main characters: Abril & Cruz. Even they were not developed well enough and felt more like shards of characters than actual people.
I would not say this movie is bad. It should be given credit for the ambitiousness of its subject matter. But it was handled poorly. The filmaker has lots of potential. This movie doesn't live up to its potential.
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By Grady Harp TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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2.0 out of 5 stars An embarrassment to all who star in this... March 15 2004
This film wants to be so much more than it is.
It tries to be clever and inventive, but I personally found it to be nothing but poor.
I would think the stars of this film are embarrassed at its outcome.
Not funny, not clever, juts tacky and poorly filmed.
I found Cruz's character annoying (especially her masculine walk - which is explained at some point), Bernals acting off the mark (when in English) and Abril was not on top form. All of these leads have been in and performed better.
The black and white scenes look cheap, and whilst the constant change of languages (from French to Spanish to English) is interesting for a while, it started to get on my nerves.
I really wanted to enjoy the film, but ultimately I found it to be very disappointing and simply boring.
I didn't even find the films interpretation of heaven and hell interesting - just silly.
In summary, vaguely interesting, but no-where near as clever as it wants to be.
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