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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.82%
Worth A Look: 1.82%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 20%

4 reviews, 31 user ratings

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by Slyder

"This cannot be Philip Kaufman’s last film"
1 stars

As far as incredibly dumb suspense thrillers go, this one certainly ranks amongst the best of them (or is it the worst of them?), and that in itself shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise. Not even if it starred high caliber people like Samuel L. Jackson, Andy Garcia and David Strathairn because actors more often than not will have the occasional momentary lapse of reason and sign on a project that was doomed to be a stinker. It gets worrisome however when you scan the credits just to see out of curiosity who the bright bulb was that directed this ridiculous clunker of a movie, and a name like Philip Kaufman appears. And I do mean it when I say “worrisome” especially when you consider that Kaufman has been one of the most prominent figures in art cinema for some time now (although his output has slowed considerably since his 80’s peak), and to see him be involved in the latest Ashley Judd train wreck just makes you want to cringe in embarrassment, especially if you admire the guy and his movies, like I do.

This flick is the latest in the “Ashley Judd as a tough, smart (yet incredibly stupid) and sexy heroine” filmography. I mention this as a public service since you have to wonder if anything of worth can actually be extracted from that, considering that this specific group consists of garbage like Kiss The Girls, Double Jeopardy, Eye of the Beholder, High Crimes and finally this latest one. Unfortunately I’m not going get into a state of masochism just to find out which of these 5 stinkers was the worst of the bunch (although I’d say Double Jeopardy was truly and I mean TRULY awful), but needless to say that this latest cinematic lobotomy just simply adds yet another stink in an already filthy rag and yet another nail into the coffin of what was once considered a promising career. After 5 stinkers like this, one better hope that Ashley displays some actual intelligence and realizes that this type of typecasting is just not doing her any favors.

But I digress. Ashley plays San Francisco Cop Jessica Shepard, a tough as nails girl who isn’t afraid of mixing it up with the guys, whether she’s roughing them up just to kick them in the balls, or roughing them up to have hard sex with them (the type of sex that a dyke-ish woman like her obviously likes). She apparently has had it rough ever since growing up, after her dad in a fit of rage shot her mom and all her boyfriends and himself, therefore she’s always been playing by her own rules and busting ass in fits of rage whenever someone tries to fuck around with her. Yep, she’s a loose cannon, so loose that she ends up drinking wine to the point of ending ass on floor. So of course, it obviously gets even more difficult when her peers begin sneering all over her when she gets a promotion from none other than her surrogate father, Commissioner John Mills (Samuel L. Jackson), who actually used to be partners with Jessica’s dad.

Then, a body washes ashore with traces that it has been tortured before dead with cigarette butts; this body also reveals that it was also one of the men whom Jessica had a one night stand with. And of course, this means that at first, it’s the work of a man who’s obviously screwing around with Jessica’s batch of fuck buddies, at least that’s what the big police chief Lieutenant Tong (Russell Wong) seems to think. So Jessica is given a partner in Mike Delmarco (Andy Garcia), and off they go searching for this guy. Delmarco also has his reservations regarding the case and Jessica’s behavior, making the occasional poking to the chagrin of Jessica, yet still remains faithful to her partner. When another body washes up, and is actually yet another one of Jessica’s fuck buddies, it then seems possible that there is no killer at all, but rather it maybe Jessica who’s unconsciously doing these murders; but how? Jessica doesn’t remember it, because she’s too fucking wasted with all that wine dumped into her throat, that she ends up blacking out before knowing it.

One tends to think it’s probably her bitter ex-boyfriend (Jimmy Schmidt) or maybe Delmarco himself since he has that sly look as if he’s hiding something. Her shrink (David Strathairn) points at maybe her past that gives her attacks of rage when she’s unconscious, although of course, one wonders if HE himself is actually on the take (this isn’t my observation, it was actually hinted in the movie only because she bumps into Jessica in the parking lot). So Jessica now needs to overcome her fears to see who this mysterious killer is before he ends up killing all of the men in San Francisco, leaving no swinging dick for Jessica to play around with anymore….Wait! Wait! I mean, she needs to overcome her fears and see who this serial killer is and why he’s screwing around with her, before the whole thing blows up in her face… and by film’s end, you won’t even care at all.

I don’t understand Ashley Judd’s affinity to roles like this. Or maybe I do, of course since I guess she wants to present some sort of role model or a heroic figure for women from all generations to look up to, which is all fine and good, but you’d think that she’d be a little intelligent to notice the difference between being smart and acting smart only to end up looking rather stupid, which is how most of her characters end up like. And that’s how this film plays out pretty much, trying its best to appear smart in order to hide its utter stupidity and predictability that lies in its core. Jessica is such an ace in telling you without looking over her shoulder what things are in a room yet she’s stupid enough not to remember exactly what she was doing between the sheets after the thrill was gone, let alone figure out where the hell her cell phone went after accidentally dropping it on the floor. And for all her tough as nails attitude, it’s funny that she forgets that sort of thing every time the latest former fuck buddy pops up dead, or when she realizes who the actual killer is, that all of a sudden she starts acting like some shell-shocked conservative girl that just had her first “OMG that’s a penis” moment. Whatever happened to the balls-kicking girl of the opening 5 minutes of the movie?

But the main character’s laughably contradictory motives only serve to highlight this movie’s utter stupidity. And oh yeah was it really.

This film is so preposterous and so transparent, it’ll make you bust out in giggles every 5 minutes or so. If you don’t figure out who the killer is within the first 15 minutes, you clearly are as retarded as the “heroine” in this picture. And once you notice the Police actually allowing one of the prime suspects into investigating a case that obviously involves said suspect, you’ll be laughing your ass off in a heartbeat. “Oh, I got a dead body in my hands! I know what I’m going to do, I’m going to hand this case to my detective who happened to be the last person that corpse was with the night he disappeared and whom had a one night stand that very same night. That’ll be another feather in my cap!” Screenwriter Sarah Thorp, did you even bother to stop and wonder aloud about the logical fallacies that completely inundate your entire script? My goodness!

Along with “talentless except in her body” Ashley, Andy Garcia, Samuel L. Jackson and David Strathairn are completely lifeless in this movie. I’ll figure that this was one of the rare cases in which all three actors needed to make a house payment for their expensive mansions and they thought they’d phone in their performances in this movie and cash on the paycheck once shooting for their respective scenes wrapped up. Oh, Michael Caine, the legacy that you have left before you!

I’d like to think that is exactly the same scenario that Philip Kaufman had, but this is one decision he’s probably regretting right now, since he hasn’t filmed another movie so far. Yet as hard to believe he was involved in this shit pile, he was, and this is unquestionably his worst effort to date. It’s as if he’s going through the numbers with his direction, since the suspense is non-existent and the whole thing reeks of “connecting-the-dots” type of a thing. At least the cinematography is adequately muted, but none more than that. The production values are rather average and worse; Kaufman’s trademark edginess is completely absent here. You’d figure at least in a film as “sexy” as this one that Kaufman would be able to ingratiate the main characters’ rough sexuality into the viewer in its entire splendor, just like he has done in the past. Yet he isn’t at all; he’s completely restrained when he shouldn’t be and gives those topics only a passing thought rather than going fully forward and as a result, that aspect of the film suffers because of it. In short, it’s a completely pedestrian work you’d see in your typical made for TV flicks. And that thought is just appalling, for this is guy has been the one behind some of the most beautiful and most intelligent pieces of art cinema in The Right Stuff, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Henry and June and Quills as well as the quirky yet memorable remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He’s one of the 3 writers that penned Raiders of the Lost Ark, and one of the screenwriters of The Outlaw Josey Wales for Christ’s sake. Hell, even Rising Sun, for all its flaws, had a genuine look and feel of a director at the peak of his powers. What a sad state of affairs really.

Oh, and the ending was an absolute clunker, and by then your cliché checklist will be all checked out and you’ll end up wondering if in the end it was all worth it, and deep in your heart and in your brain, you’ll realize it just wasn’t. What a complete waste of talent and money this piece of crap ended up being. I have no sympathy for Ashley Judd; the gal has tits and ass but isn’t the intelligent woman she tries to portray on the screen, and I rather think she’s about as retarded as her characters end up with in every stinker of a movie she makes like this one and the ones before it. And it’s truly sad and angering to see a guy like Philip Kaufman be involved in this mess, as this sack of garbage has given him the first true flop in a career than until then had had pretty much none. 0-5

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8776&reviewer=235
originally posted: 11/20/09 04:19:31
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User Comments

1/09/16 Fartley J. Hogdick Shitty movie, shittier review (ack, such lifeless prose) 1 stars
10/01/12 scott maxwell Twisted says it all 5 stars
7/09/11 Jennifer Barr boring 2 stars
3/17/08 Vinny Ashley Judd thrillers are all the same, this shit hit it's peak with basic instinct ffs! 1 stars
2/13/08 Jack Sommersby It was Phillip Noyce, not Phillip Kaufman, who directed this film. 1 stars
9/18/07 Sugarfoot So mediocre in its execution, I can't believe this was done by the guy who did Dead Calm 2 stars
2/22/07 Sheila Koffel Good one Norema! Trashly Dudd most egregiously robbed of a golden raspberry! Zero stars! 1 stars
11/17/05 Norema Cameron Trashley Dudd must be trying to make EYE OF THE BEHOLDER look relatively good. 1 stars
8/19/05 ES if you've seen a Judd movie . . . 1 stars
3/16/05 Colleen Goldrick I enjoyed this one 4 stars
11/22/04 tatum Stunning lack of suspense 2 stars
10/30/04 Naka Judd is _____ *insert hate here* 1 stars
10/23/04 ODH Wow, a terrible suspense movie that borders on retarded 1 stars
10/20/04 Regina George didn't really survive the school bus accident AJ exercises unbelievable talent for making EYE OF THE BEHOLDER no longer her worst movie! 1 stars
9/14/04 Marvin Is Ashley Judd trying to tie with Osama bin Laden for Public Enemy #1? 1 stars
8/09/04 Iris Verna Ashley Judd needs to exorcise her demons, NOT exercise them! 1 stars
6/07/04 Lactose-free bean "A waste of Judd and Jackson" is like a waste of ricin and anthrax. 1 stars
6/05/04 Norema Cameron Trashley Dudd must be trying to make EYE OF THE BEHOLDER look relatively good. 1 stars
5/23/04 Butterbean A waste of Judd and Jackson. Should have been a Lifetime channel original movie 1 stars
5/17/04 Iris Verna Ashley Judd's final dispelling of any rumors that she has a soul. 1 stars
4/26/04 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne What's the difference between Ashley Judd and Hannibal Lecter? HL is entertaining. 1 stars
4/26/04 Jenna Furr If Ashley Judd gets any more obnoxious, she belongs in a cage. 1 stars
4/25/04 Ajax Ugh. Just as bad as that Angelina Jolie one. 1 stars
3/28/04 LCAJ This movie was a joke. It was stupid, a waste of time, and a jumbled up piece of junk. 1 stars
3/22/04 Roy Smith Generic product, don't even download it for free. 1 stars
3/21/04 Marco i've seen so mu much better. boring and gay 1 stars
3/06/04 C. Hernandez Wait for cable. Don't pay to see this. 2 stars
3/02/04 dickass die all of you please 1 stars
3/01/04 nniedzielski well THAT was a ridiculous waste of 97 minutes 2 stars
3/01/04 Str8Dog Hrm.. Looks like the writer finished their copy of Mysteries for Dummies 1 stars
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  27-Feb-2004 (R)
  DVD: 31-Aug-2004


  20-May-2004 (MA)

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