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Efficient and well-played, with sharp and silly plot twists in equal measure, mystery-thriller "X" is a fine shop window for the understated talents of actor Antonio Resines but has little else to generate enthusiasm in what is basically another riff on the battered cop theme. Directorial debut by erstwhile scripter Luis Marias has enjoyed only discreet B.O. since release in mid-June.

With:
With: Antonio Resines, Esperanza Roy, Maria Adanez, Manuel Galiana, Marta Belaustegui, Manuel Galiana, Pere Arquillue, Antonio Dechent.

Efficient and well-played, with sharp and silly plot twists in equal measure, mystery-thriller “X” is a fine shop window for the understated talents of actor Antonio Resines but has little else to generate enthusiasm in what is basically another riff on the battered cop theme. Directorial debut by erstwhile scripter Luis Marias has enjoyed only discreet B.O. since release in mid-June.

Policeman Javier (Resines) awakes in the house of aging sexpot Natalia (Esperanza Roy) and husband Fernando (Manuel Galiana) after a drunken evening to find that he’s lost his memory. When he investigates a murder which took place that night, it quickly becomes clear that Javier himself, who has found a bloody pair of scissors and an empty bag in his car, is the main suspect. Also, his marriage to pregnant wife Beatriz (Marta Belaustegui) is falling apart, and he starts to fall for the victim’s sister, Alicia (Maria Adanez). Perfs are good, particularly from under-exploited vet Roy and the brooding Resines. Visually, pic is an odd combination of the stylish — the way that the figure X keeps reappearing (as a crossed shadow, as clock hands) — and plain bad taste.

X

Spain

Production: A Columbia TriStar Spain release of a BocaBoca/Tele 5 production, with participation of Canal Plus. (International sales: BocaBoca, Madrid.) Executive producer, Cesar Benitez. Directed, written by Luis Marias.

Crew: Camera (color), Federico Ribes; editor, Fidel Collados; music, Paco Musulen, Luis Elices; art director, Eduardo Hidalgo. Reviewed at Cine Azul Confort, Madrid, June 30, 2002. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Antonio Resines, Esperanza Roy, Maria Adanez, Manuel Galiana, Marta Belaustegui, Manuel Galiana, Pere Arquillue, Antonio Dechent.

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