Video reviews

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Gang Related (18) Film Four HHH

James Belushi breaths new life into the corrupt cop routine in Jim Kouf's gangster flick. From his garish array of Hawiian shirts to his sneering impatience with his colleagues, Belushi emanates sleaziness from every pore. When he accidentally kills an undercover cop after a drugs transaction, he and his partner (Tupac Shakur in his last role) find themselves in need of someone to blame. As they scour the streets for a fall guy, the full implications of their folly are revealed in their own wide-eyed tension. They finally alight on a vagrant, an ingeniously disguised Denis Quaid. Too befuddled to remember his name, they persuade him of his guilt, and he is duly sent to trial. A grimly fascinating picture.

Palmetto (15) Columbia, rental H

Woody Harrelson plays a journalist who gets embroiled in a young woman's plans to extract money from her elderly husband in Volker Schlondorff's noir thriller. Inevitably, things don't go according to plan. The suitcase of money turns out to be a bagful of paper and Harrelson ends up with a body in the trunk of his car. As the depraved temptress, Elisabeth Shue acts herself into a sexual lather, while Chloe Sevigny's sultry teenager would incite any self-respecting parent to lock up their children. Harrelson's is the only believable character - since he is well-accustomed to acting the dolt. As well as the cast's flagrant overacting, what brings this picture down is the fact that the viewer remains constantly two steps ahead of the hero.

Alien Resurrection (18) Fox Pathe, retail, pounds 13.99 HHH

A plodding script holds back this third instalment of the sweaty slasher-in-space series, despite an ingenious plot. After hundreds of years of experimentation, Ripley (a wise-cracking Sigourney Weaver) has been brought back to life to find alien DNA sloshing about in her cells and a desire to bond with her mother, a mucus-encrusted monster. Jean- Pierre Jeunet's film plays more on our stomachs than on our cerebral fears, offering a feast of glistening guts and blood-splattered debris. For the modest entre#e, we're presented with a Caesarean birth, Ripley having an alien infant removed from her tummy. A lavish main course shows her being enveloped by a giant, dribbling, oozing, mater alien. Perversely entertaining, but still not a patch on the original.

GI Jane (15)

Columbia, retail, pounds 13.99 H

At the behest of a senior female politician looking to prove a point, Demi Moore endeavours to thrust feminism into the 1990s by matching the brutality of her oppressors and joining the Navy Seals. She shares a dormitory with her testosterone-driven peers, ignores remarks about her menstrual cycle, remains unflinching when a male commander conducts a meeting while she's in the shower, does push-ups, pull-ups and a variety of gruelling assault courses - and defiantly shaves her head. Reaching a pinnacle of feminist consciousness, she invites her senior officer to "Suck my dick!" after taking a rigorous beating, thereby winning admiration from her fellow soldiers. If this is Hollywood getting politically correct, God help us all.

HHHHH outstanding HHHH very good HHH good HH average H poor

Comments