(director/writer: Kathryn Bigelow; screenwriter: Eric Red; cinematographer: Amir Mokri; editor: Lee Percy; music: Brad Fiedel; cast: Jamie Lee Curtis (Megan Turner), Ron Silver (Eugene Hunt), Clancy Brown (Nick Mann), Elizabeth Pena (Tracy Perez), Louise Fletcher (Shirley Turner), Philip Bosco (Frank Turner), Tom Sizemore (Robber); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Edward R. Pressman/Oliver Stone; MGM/UA Distribution Company; 1989)
“The thriller maintains a high quality of production values despite lacking a convincing message.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Director and co-writer Kathryn Bigelow(“Zero Dark Thirty”/”The Hurt Locker”/”Point Break”) does a smooth job with this troubling macho female film noir thriller, that features an excellent Jamie Lee Curtis as the gun-happy but vulnerable heroine. Jamie plays Megan Turner, a rookie NYC cop. Eric Red co-writes.
The cop Megan Turner (Jamie Lee Curtis) is wrongly blamed for the murder of the hold-up man (Tom Sizemore) at a grocery store, as no witness emerges to confirm the stickup man was armed. No one noticed that the wealthy Wall Street trader Eugene Hunt (Ron Silver) picked up the gun and fled.
The melodrama turns lurid when Eugene obsesses over the cop and after some accidental meetings, the schizoid psycho Wall Street serial killer, Eugene Hunt, now on a killing spree with the found gun, seduces Megan to go on a helicopter ride with him over the city.
Silver brings the film down with his poor performance, as he overacts and goes on delusional rants after hearing voices in his head.
A wife-abuse subplot is thrown into the mix, that has Philip Bosco as the bullying abusive husband of Louise Fletcher. They are Curtis’s parents. The message being sent is that a woman with a gun can be just as menacing as a man with one.
The best action scene is a violent street shootout.
The thriller maintains a high quality of production values despite lacking a convincing message. It remains chillingly gripping throughout, even if flawed.
REVIEWED ON 4/9/2016 GRADE: B-