Action Movie Fanatix Review: My Name Is Modesty

Killer Elegance, Deadly Force, Explosive Strength… What’s In A Name?

Starring: Alexandra Staden, Raymond Cruz, Fred Pearson, Eugenia Yuan, Nokolaj Coster-Waldau

Director: Scott Spiegel

2003  |  78 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Some people think luck will never leave them so they don’t care who they hurt along the way.” – Modesty Blaise

My Name Is Modesty tells the origin of Modesty Blaise, a British comic strip secret agent.  So what we have is Modesty Blaise before she became a secret agent.

Modesty Blaise (Alexandra Staden) was orphaned during a war “somewhere in the Balkans.”  She is now a crooked croupier, of sorts, for a mobster, Henri Louche.  A group of criminals kills Louche and attempts to steal all of the casino’s money.  The leader of the gang challenges Modesty to a game of roulette forcing her to tell her history if she loses.

The majority of the movie plays out in flashbacks with Modesty telling everything from how she got her name to how she learned to read and fight to how she came to work for Mr. Louche.  It is all rather boring if you don’t already have some emotional investment in the Modesty Blaise character.  It is kind of like watching Casino Royale without knowing or caring who James Bond is, taking away Daniel Craig’s charisma and on screen presence and taking away all of the great action scenes.

I found the character of Modesty Blaise to be incredibly annoying.  The way she talked, her facial expressions, everything.

Instead of being the story of how Modesty Blaise became a British secret agent, My Name Is Modesy only tells us how she became the head of a casino for criminals.  Just a really odd choice for an origin story.

What this flashback heavy movie fails to deliver is any sort of action whatsoever.  There is less than 10 minutes of action in the entire thing.  There are a couple shootings at the beginning, a ton of talking, roulette and flashbacks in the middle and then a quick fight at the end.  The final fight is probably the most entertaining part but even that isn’t very good.  It often looks like the two are sparring instead of fighting for their lives.  The final kill is kind of fun but it really isn’t done with any pizzazz.  Just a quick original kill and back to Modesty’s monotone talking.

The one thing that I actually found myself enjoying in My Name Is Modesty was the music.  The main theme that played during the final credits was quite catchy and original.  The song is called Jareb Hazak.  It is written by Waleed Issa and performed by Gabe Rutman but I don’t really see it anywhere online so if you really want to hear it you will have to get your hands on this movie.  Do yourself a favor and just fast forward to the credits.

My Name Is Modesty is a poor attempt at telling the origin of a British secret agent.  It was intended to be the start of a series of movies but it is clear why that series never got off the ground.