FILM / Critical round-up

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The Independent Culture
ACCIDENTAL HERO

'This movie has everything. Comedy, drama, air crash, lovable superstar, script by David (Unforgiven) Peoples, and the wonderful Geena Davis as a survivor-newsreporter who sleuths after the 'accidental hero'. Yet we keep thinking, 'When is it going to start?' ' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

'For all its obvious attractions, Accidental Hero never comes to heel. Hoffman himself plays a key part in the film's disarray. As Bernie LaPlante . . . he speaks lines in a Brando-esque mumble, the mouth scarcely open: audiences need to keep their ears cocked to understand what he says. He grimaces constantly. His left shoulder slopes as he shuffles along. But the end result of Hoffman's earnest tricks is a character far more unsavoury than comic, and something of a bore to boot.' Geoff Brown, Times

'Certainly a more intriguing prospect than most on the rounds at the moment and, though flawed, by no means a failure. Basically, it tells a good story rather well, and its mixture of Capra-like sentiments, and horror at what instant fame can do to those unprepared for the experience, has at least a modicum of pertinence.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

BODY OF EVIDENCE

'. . . a large, squishy, self-important object masquerading as a movie. The star is Madonna, whose screen career continues to take two steps backward for every one step forward.' Nigel Andrews, FT

'Slick, sleazy tosh: a failed attempt to package the same sexual thrills that made such a reprehensible hit of Basic Instinct.' Geoff Brown, Times

'The film's less awful than it's supposed to be, though it hasn't a very good script . . . As for the sex, well, I've seen better.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

DUST DEVIL

'Richard Stanley, the young South African director hailed in some quarters after the pyrotechnical Hardware, continues to prove his talent with Dust Devil. But I can't say he builds on it much with this weird and slightly incoherent tale of a hitch-hiking serial killer on the loose in Namibia, collecting fingers and souls in an effort to return to another world beyond this one.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian

'. . . a pretentious mish-mash best left for indulgent late-night audiences to enjoy. Stanley . . . has an exuberant but magpie mind: this tiresome successor to the futuristic Hardware filches generously from Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns and the horror romps of Dario Argento.' Geoff Brown, Times

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