On the surface, “Battle in Heaven” has everything necessary to make an intriguing film: sex, kidnapping, nationalism, religion, and more sex. Yet Mexican writer/director Carlos Reygadas steadfastly drains his sophomore effort of any emotion and context, turning it into a dull, meditative exercise. Shot with non-professional actors, the film links one series of banal events to another through long tracking shots. He pays little regard to a cohesive narrative structure and even less to developing three-dimensional characters. Reygadas asks for his audience to consider the moral dilemmas that play out in the consciousness of his characters and offers little in return for the effort.
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