Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Review: The Right Temptation

Synopsis: When an ex-cop turned PI falls for the target of an investigation, she finds herself drawn into a web of lies, sex, and money, and soon becomes the prime suspect in murder!

Review: This film very much plays up that noir-ish quality one would find in some old-school detective novels. It's hard-boiled and ham-fisted all the way. It could even be considered a little bit fun, but it has some problems.

Rebecca De Mornay is easily the best performance of the group here (and the only worthwhile one). She's got the acting chops to play things cold and hard, yet still has the looks to bring in the sexual component needed. While being played by both ends, courtesy of Dana Delany and Kiefer Sutherland, we also get a look into her character's past, that shows her to be just as much damaged goods as anyone else involved in this duplicitous love triangle and murder scheme.

Unfortunately, while De Mornay shines in her role, the same cannot be said for the others. Delany's attempts to play up being a criminally-minded femme are completely undone every time she smirks. You never believe anything she's telling you, which makes you wonder why anyone else would. Meanwhile, Kiefer Sutherland's character is simply bland a boring. There is no real chemistry in their performances, unless it is supplied by De Mornay's character. It is a clear cut case of highly-talented actors, wasting said talent on material that is beneath their skills.

The film is well shot and has some very nice settings, but the last 10-15 minutes of the film ruins much of the tension built-up before, as what happens in them is more hackneyed and telegraphed, than in a Mickey Spillane pulp fiction story. Also, the film is rated "R," but there didn't seem to be much in the movie that seemed to require such a rating. Remove a few f-bombs, and trim the one main love-making scene by a few seconds, and it is PG-13 material all the way.

In the end, it is only Rebecca De Mornay who gives this film any real interest or life, as she pretty much carries anything of value within it single-handed. Everything else is just dime store novel reject material, which explains why it went straight to DVD. Still, it is watchable, even if in a trashy way. This is no great mystery or caper flick, but something to pass the time and quickly be forgotten shortly thereafter.

Rating: 2 Stars (out of 4)

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