Thursday, January 20, 2005

After Dark My Sweet

This is Jim Thompson, one of his incarnates, never that story about a heist that goes well, about the ultimate scheme worked out, the story about how it is a fuckup, the fuckup the context of a study in character (see the underrated Hit Me), this study like any good film noir, even a brightly lit desert dry one, the question that surrounds the heart: is it good, or is it bad? Bruce Dern’s character phrasing a question like that, and Jason Patric, the killer boxer with one secret you didn’t guess, he plays a character trying to answer it, and both of them, they play it well, even with Rachel Ward, looking more like a pretty boy than a beautiful woman, sort of gumming up things around them; a study in facial expressions, a study in the way we walk, the story quite simple, and Foley, he makes one hugely false move, a move that most films would be undone by, but this one, it holds up, the sun sizzling on the sand, in the dead date trees, the half ugly sex scenes, all that glowing skin, and the little boy whose going to die.