(director: Sidney Lumet; screenwriters: Steven Antin/based on the screenplay by John Cassavetes; cinematographer: David Watkin; editor: Tom Swartwout; music: Howard Shore; cast: Sharon Stone (Gloria), Jeremy Northam (Kevin), Jean-Luke Figueroa (Nicky), Cathy Moriarty (Diane), Mike Starr (Sean), Bonnie Bedelia (Brenda), George C. Scott (Ruby Goldman); Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Gary Foster/Lee Rich; Columbia; 1999)

The filmmaker got the raspberries he deserved for trying to outdo Cassavetes‘s somewhat charming throwaway pic without offering any improvements.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Shabby remake of the 1980 Cassavetes’ action-packed senseless thriller (probably played for comedy) that starred his wife Gena Rowland, and was enjoyable even if not a great film. Director Sidney Lumet (“Running on Empty”/”Network”/”Prince of the City”)keeps it predictable and at best unremarkable, though just as much blame for its failings could be laid to screenwriterSteven Antin’s dreadful script.Nevertheless, the filmmaker got the raspberries he deserved for trying to outdoCassavetes’s somewhat charming throwaway pic without offering any improvements.

Tough street-wise NYC gun-moll Gloria (Sharon Stone) is released on parole from a Florida prison after serving three-years by taking the rap for her untrustworthy gang leader boyfriend Kevin (Jeremy Northam), now living in her loft apartment and working out of it with his henchmen. On her return to the city, Gloria discovers there’s a 7-year-old Puerto Rican kid in her loft apartment,Nicky (Jean-Luke Figueroa), and his family was just executed by the gang in their Washington Height’s apartment and the kid’s also marked for execution. The kid has in his possession a floppy disk, made by his mob employed accountant father, revealing bribes to politicians and police. Dad wanted to use the disk as insurance that nothing would happen to him if he had a fallout with the gang, but foolishly blabbed.When the mob came looking for the disk, dad refused to give it up.Gloria, being pissed that Kevin refuses to keep his word and give her the money he promised her for taking the rap, grabs a gun from one of the goons and makes the gang strip and impulsively flees with the kid and disk in Kevin’s luxury car.

There’s long chases through the city’s Washington Heights section, as Gloria manages without a plan to allude the ruthless mobsters. When the gang finally nabs the kid, Gloria meets with her ex-lover, the big crime boss, Ruby (George C. Scott), and arranges to make a deal.

Gloria arranges for the safe passage of the kid and herself, as she turns the disk over to Kevin and he gives her the kid.

The kid, whom I found rather annoying and hardly likable-just a kid, becomes the foil for the brassy, foul-mouthedStone character to showoff how funny, tough and sentimental she can be.Their relationship becomes the focus of the film, and their meeting of the minds results in her adopting him. It’s believable in the sense that most things are even if they’re highly unlikely. But that the film despite all its action is flat and not that enjoyable, cannot easily be explained away.