Tuesday, May 05, 2009

While She Was Out: Grade F

While She Was Out (2008)
Kim Basinger, Lukas Haas; Co-writer and Director Susan Montford.

Basinger is an ordinary suburban housewife who can’t find a parking spot at a shopping mall at Christmas. She is annoyed by a big old car taking up two spaces and leaves a hostile note on its windshield. When she comes out of the mall, the owners of that car are waiting for her, four young punks who surround her with hypermacho lip. A mall guard intervenes and they shoot him dead. Basinger jumps in her car and for some reason flees to an uncompleted housing construction project, where she grabs the metal toolbox from her car and hides in some framing. The toolbox miraculously has no mass and she carries it effortlessly. The punks chase her into the nearby woods, improbably a mature Northwest rain forest. As they pursue her through the inexplicably well lit night forest, she manages to ambush them one at a time, killing them with tools far too large to have come out of the box. On the last bad guy, she uses her feminine wiles to get him sexually distracted, which works, despite the large difference in their ages.

Basinger has had some amazing cosmetic surgery that makes her appear thirtyish if you don’t look too closely at the grotesquely sculpted features or at her 55 year old hands. Still, she is far from being a female Bruce Willis, which I guess is what I was hoping for. The acting is abominable, especially by the young men, in keeping with the brain-dead story. Costumes, sets, music, directing, scenery, cinematography – all are so bad that you keep watching in horrified fascination, but that doesn’t make it worth your time.

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