Desperate to evade her psychotic partner-in-crime Vince (Madsen, memorably nasty if over-Methody) after stealing money from the Mob, treacherous femme fatale Fay (Whalley-Kilmer) asks down-at-heel private investigator Jack Andrews (Val Kilmer) to help her fake her own death. Somewhat inevitably, Jack takes the job, loses his heart, and finds that he is wanted by cops, Mob and Vince. Derived from assorted Hitchcocks and noir classics, the tortuous storyline of writer-director Dahl's determinedly sordid thriller has its moments, but the whole thing is fatally scuppered by the Kilmer pairing. Joanne is trying far too hard and looks like it, while Val, whose pudgy baby-face makes nonsense of his world-weary, tough-guy posturing, alternates between two expressions: troubled (unsmiling) and beguiled (faintly smiling). Setting its study of betrayal and deceit in and around the gambling towns of the Nevada desert, the film sporadically achieves a truly seedy atmosphere, but there are too many symbols, too many loose ends, and too many vaguely sensationalist scenes.
Cast and crew
|Director:||John R Dahl|
|Screenwriter:||John R Dahl, David W Warfield|