Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 1990. Lightning Pictures, Precision Films, Mack-Taylor Productions, Vestron Pictures. Screenplay by Kathryn Bigelow, Eric Red. Cinematography by Amir Mokri. Produced by Edward R. Pressman, Oliver Stone. Music by Brad Fiedel. Production Design by Toby Corbett. Costume Design by Richard Shissler. Film Editing by Lee Percy.
Kathryn Bigelow had the right idea in making an action film with a female protagonist, still almost unheard of in Hollywood as late as 1990 (Alien notwithstanding), but did a disservice to this cause by making such an idiotic film with a weak lead character. Jamie Lee Curtis plays a rookie cop who prevents a robbery on her first day only to find out that the gun the assailant had on him when she shot him has disappeared, making her actions look like extremely excessive force. What she doesn’t know is that the gun was taken by a serial killer (Ron Silver) who happened to be there at the time of the crime and is now romancing her for kicks. How she navigates her way to the climactic ending is frustrating even if it is great to look at, and the film is full of stupid decisions (even for an inexperienced cop) and airheaded characters. Who the hell has sex with their police partner after having been beaten up by a serial killer whom they know is on the loose and is coming over to their house? If you can get over this sort of plot hole, you’ll enjoy the loud action and great chases, not to mention a bona fide performance by Curtis who is thankfully unaware of the mess she’s in.