A pair of mismatched lowlifes drift in and out of love in stylistically muscular but narratively undernourished Dutch drama "Steve + Sky." Skewing far younger than many other Belgian pics, item could find some play in fresh-thinking fests, but is primarily a home-grown item for theatrical and homevid action.

A pair of mismatched lowlifes drift in and out of love in stylistically muscular but narratively undernourished Dutch drama “Steve + Sky.” Skewing far younger than many other Belgian pics, item could find some play in fresh-thinking fests, but is primarily a home-grown item for theatrical and homevid action.

After being released from jail for a drug deal gone awry, scrappy Kung Fu-loving miscreant Steve (Titus De Voogdt) falls in with leggy Sky (model-turned-thesp Delfine Bafort), a morose hooker who plies her trade on the motorway outside Ghent. They both end up working at a strip club run by wheelchair-bound street philosopher Jean-Claude (Johan Heldenbergh), who did time with Steve and may be Sky’s long-lost father. Promising frosh helmer Felix van Groeningen exhibits a fresh eye, though his script is full of too many self-consciously Tarantino-ish verbal digressions that serve to distract from the story, and self-conscious quirks he mistakes for character development. Cast is capable, with only Heldenbergh distinguishing himself beyond what his character offers. Tech package emphasizes a nocturnal neon palette, with a pulsing score that caters to youth.

Steve + Sky

Belgium

Production

A Flanders Image presentation of a Kinepolis Film release (in Belgium) of a Menuet production. (International sales: Flanders Image, Brussels.) Produced by Dirk Impens. Directed, written by Felix van Groeningen.

Crew

Camera (color), Ruben Impens; editor, Nico Leunen; music, Dewaele Brothers; production designer, Pol Heyvaert; costume designer, Hilde Destoop. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (Cinema of Europe), Aug. 28, 2004. Running time: 97 MIN.

With

Titus De Voogdt, Delfine Bafort, Johan Heldenbergh, Romy Bollion.
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