Foul Play

A big budget, San Francisco-set comedy thriller, with Goldie Hawn playing self-contained kook Gloria Mundy. A significant name, since the deliberately ridiculous plot involves an attempt to murder the pontiff. (Or is it because Hawn's a little too well-worn in this kind of role, sic transit Gloria Mundy?) Unsatisfactory as a whole, the film is hilarious and tense in bits. For while writer/director Higgins uses almost every stock thriller device - sinister dwarf, albino, scarfaced man, moving shower curtain, disappearing corpses, a chase, an escape or two, even the identical twin wheeze - he approaches this semi-parody with more zest and originality than is common, and careers from farce to thrills before you can say 'Spot the hommage'.

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