(director: William Friedkin; screenwriter: Joe Eszterhas; cinematographer: Andrzej Bartkowiak; editor: Augie Hess; music: James Horner; cast: David Caruso (David Corelli), Linda Fiorentino (Katrina Gavin), Chazz Palminteri (Matt Gavin), Richard Crenna (Gov. Lew Edwards), Michael Biehn (Bob Hargrove), Angie Everhart (Patrice Jacinto); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Robert Evans/ Craig Baumgarten/Gary Adelson; Paramount; 1995)

“Senseless erotic murder thriller.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Director William Friedkin(“The Exorcist”/”The French Connection”/”Cruising”) and writer Joe Eszterhas, in their unpleasant and senseless erotic murder thriller set in San Francisco, slavishly follow this genre’s sleaziest story lines. Aside from delivering an exciting though derivative car chase scene through Chinatown between star David Caruso and the mysterious prostitute named Jade, there’s not much here to admire in such a pointless pedestrian film.

The assistant DA of San Francisco, Corelli (David Caruso), investigates the brutal murder of a creepy millionaire playboy art dealer. Evidence points to a suspect being the former girlfriend of the assistant DA, the respected psychologist Trina Gavin (Linda Fiorentino). She is currently married to Corelli’s close friend–the amoral big-time lawyer for the well-heeled, Matt Gavin (Chazz Palminteri). Trina is a prime suspect because she was the last one to see the vic alive at his beach house.

Corelli investigates despite a conflict of interest. He uncovers that the sleazy dealer owned a series of photographs showing prominent public figures in compromising positions with a mysterious prostitute known only as Jade. There’s such a photo of the governor (Richard Crenna). Corelli begins to suspect that his old flame might be leading a double life as the prostitute in question. While searching further, Corelli uncovers secret entanglements that threaten his life.

Under the slick direction of Friedkin things are fine for awhile, but the trash gets piled high and all the one-dimensional players get buried in the stink. The absurd story fails to generate interest and the longer it goes on the worse it gets.


REVIEWED ON 12/31/2014 GRADE: C+