Time Out saysAfter plumbing the Marquis de Sade’s bang-up love life in ‘Quills’, Kaufman (once of ‘The Right Stuff’) tilts his telescope towards yet foggier sexual pathology in the San Francisco Police Dep-artment. Ashley Judd is Detective Jessica Shepard, tipped for the top but not without some skeletons in her closet: her pop was a cop too until he shot out his wife’s brains and his own. Jessica in turn keeps family life in a box; her preferred R&R involves a bottle of red and some anonymous bump and grind. But lately her hook-ups have led to black-outs, then wake-up summons from her colleagues to come help fish another floater out of the Bay. Dang if it isn’t last night’s bit of rough – now considerably rougher…
‘Twisted’ doesn’t do it as a nail-biter, for any number of reasons: Sarah Thorpe’s screenplay is a compendium of by-the-book clichés; Kaufman’s direction leaves the material stranded in a limbo between po-faced and trashy; Judd’s approximation of drunkenness is worrying to behold. Andy Garcia as her squad partner and co-suspect (but aren’t they all?) soft-peddles until the final act before flipping his lid something garish; Samuel L Jackson coasts lazily as her guardian patron. Interesting, though, how it is the hackneyed serial-killer thriller where Hollywood now explores (or exploits) grown-up women’s issues; in its gormless way, ‘Twisted’ nags at the worry that a self-determined sex life is still a risk for a career woman who tries to vie with the men.
Strong opening credits over foggy San Fran, too.