Director Wim Wenders has a lot on his mind. Unfortunately, he wants to share it with us. Violence is meant to be a mosaic portrait of a criminally savage Hollywood on the cusp of the millennium. Pullman, a producer famous for his bloody action pictures, is kidnapped and, in a sense, subjected to a taste of his own cinema. His emotionally needy wife (MacDowell, with an exquisite little frown) was planning to leave him, but now discovers she has a head cool enough to enjoy running his affairs. Meanwhile, in the Griffiths Observatory, high above L.A., a technological wizard (Gabriel Byrne) is installing an elaborate, city-wide surveillance system that can spy on anyone, from lonely women sitting in apartment windows to muggers prowling the alleys.
This is all very earnest, portentous and more than a little annoying. (R)