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Under Hellgate Bridge

Co-executive producers, Vivian Jang, Heinz Kluetmeier, David Anthony.

Co-executive producers, Vivian Jang, Heinz Kluetmeier, David Anthony.

Directed, written by Michael Sergio. Camera (color), Leland Krane; editor, Stan Warnow; music, Stephan Moccio; art director, Nancy Hankins. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (World Cinema), Aug. 28, 1999. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: Michael Rodrick, Jonathan LaPaglia, Frank Vincent, Jordan Bayne, Brian Vincent, Dominic Chianese, Vincent Pastore.

Long on atmosphere but short on invention, “Under Hellgate Bridge” is a by-the-numbers goombah meller about two rivals who square off in the titular New York City neighborhood in the Astoria section of Queens, with predictably messy results. Item could move from vid bins if fans who made soap hunk Michael Rodrick a star in the now canceled “Another World” can tear themselves away from the tube.

Rodrick plays not-so-bad-fella Ryan, home from two years in jail on a bum rap and shortly in the face of small-time wiseguy Vincent (Jonathan LaPaglia), to whom he’s lost g.f. Carla (Jordan Bayne). Trio works hard but can’t lick cliched script, although Brian Vincent makes an impression as a weak man in a strong world. Supporting cast is peppered with reassuringly familiar character types from “The Sopranos” (Vincent Pastore, Dominic Chianese) as well as Scorsese regular Frank Vincent as local boss Big Sal. Tech credits are glossy, including a well-staged climactic shootout in a dark bar. Stephan Moccio’s turgid score and the teeth-rattling volume of it inflate the thin material to absurdly operatic proportions.

Under Hellgate Bridge

(DRAMA)

Production: A Fortune Films presentation, in association with Cavu Pictures, of an El-Train production. Produced by Michael Sergio, Isil Bagdadi. Executive producer, John M. Fortune III.

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