Cynical cartoonist CC Drood (Hulce) has problems: his wife (Mastrantonio) has left him, his landlady opens his mail, and a mysterious girl he had a brief affair with (Madsen) has been found dead. Suspected of murder by Detective Smiley (Stanton), he is also the victim of brutal interrogations carried out by a hood named Buddy (Opper). Combining state-of-the-art stylishness with comedy and suspense, Wang turns an otherwise straightforward conspiracy thriller into a pacy, racy fable with distinctly oddball dimensions. The deft, dark humour (notably a supremely funny scene set in a police station seemingly populated by psychos) reinforces the shock value of its sudden incursions of crunching violence; while Drood's descent into danger involves a drastic reassessment of his shallow, self-regarding attitudes. Tautly scripted (by Don 'Android' Opper, who also turns in a bizarrely touching performance as Buddy), stunningly shot and designed, the movie may not display the emotional honesty and complexity of Wang's earlier Dim Sum, but as polished adult entertainment it sparkles.
Cast and crew
Tom Hulce Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Don Opper Harry Dean Stanton Adam Ant Robert Beltran Virginia Madsen Millie Perkins