Exciting and dangerous though he is, Kevin Spacey (below right) will never be a front-rank film star: there's something a mite too mean in that pig-cum-pug face and beefy body. A demon inhabits him, a demon that takes no prisoners and tells no lies. It's the sort of quality Hollywood allows only character actors to flaunt (Elisha Cook Jnr and Hope Emerson spring to mind) though there's always the exception that proves the rule: Jack Nicholson.

Like the blessed Jack, Spacey goes all the way; he's Spacey by name and Spacey by nature. Playing the husband from hell in the current Hostile Hostages, he even upstages supposedly 'savage' stand-up comic Denis Leary, just as his blond, slimy con man / murderer effortlessly stole Consenting Adults fron Kevin Kline (file under Petty Larceny, not Grand Theft). Leary and Kline must protect themselves - we're talking multi-million dollar investments here - but Spacey knows no restraint. Take Glengarry Glen Ross. When salesman Jack Lemmon (whose daughter is dying, who hasn't shifted an acre of land in months) asks boss Spacey why he has been giving him bum tips in exchange for bribes, Spacey hisses, 'Because I don't like you', sounding very much like he means it. And enjoys meaning it.

Spacey's the sort of vile treat regular moviegoers look forward to, but you can't expect audiences to buy tickets to see him: the man's insane. Yet cast as a good guy (Dad, Working Girl) he's nothing - a vacuum with good dental work. Please, please, please, won't someone come up with a remake of Bedazzled and let Kevin inherit the role he was born for - Satan himself? Better the Devil you know. . .

(Photograph omitted)

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