Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Slow Burn: Grade D


Slow Burn (2005)

Ray Liotta, LL Cool J, Taye Diggs, Jolene Blalock. Writer & Director Wayne Beach

The DA (Liotta with too much hair) hunts for a mysterious gangleader nobody has actually seen. As in The Usual Suspects, Roshomonic stories are told in flashback until he is revealed. Blalock, the assistant DA, plays the evasive interviewee created by Kevin Spacey, although in this heavy handed script the revelation of the bad guy is arbitrary and uninteresting. There is a mild racial theme since Blalock is supposed to be a black woman who passes for white but that has no real bearing on the story. These are good actors but bad directing sucks the energy out of them. I know Liotta is capable of much more than slack jaw surprise, so why mug that shot repeatedly? It is no mystery that the wordy and lifeless dialog comes from that same director.

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