Twisted

"Bad"

Twisted Review


Ashley Judd seems to go out of her way to find hole-riddled women-in-peril B-thrillers anymore. It's as if she's doing everything in her power not to be taken seriously as an actress.

After a moving, understated debut in 1993's "Ruby in Paradise," the actress seemed on her way toward award-worthy respect with memorable, compelling small-role performances in "Smoke," "Heat," and "A Time to Kill." Then she threw it all away to become queen of the trashy victim-empowerment genre with "Kiss the Girls," "Double Jeopardy," and "High Crimes," all of which seem promising at first but become tangled beyond salvation in their own ridiculous plot twists.

And thus we come to the appropriately titled murder mystery "Twisted," in which the twists are not only ridiculous, but also so poorly conceived that "the real killer" might as well be walking around in blood-soaked shoes.

Judd plays a hard-drinking, procedure-breaking San Francisco cop with some daddy issues that lead her to have sexually aggressive one-night stands with guys she picks up in bars. (Two -- count 'em! -- two clichés in one!) Freshly promoted to homicide, in her first case the victim is one of the men she slept with, and he was beaten to death with a martial arts weapon she's known to carry -- during a blackout she had after a night of boozing. Ditto two more guys who soon turn up dead with a serial killer's signature cigarette burns in the backs of their hands.

But Detective Judd isn't pulled off the case, in part because the cops don't want to tip off any suspects to the fact that they sense a pattern (as if that wasn't the killer's intent to begin with) and in part on the orders of the police commissioner (a sleepwalking Samuel L. Jackson). He's her mentor and knows she's a good cop because he raised her after her father (and his beat partner) went on a murder-suicide spree himself in the 1970s.

The facts of the father's case are transparently shaky, but that's the least of this movie's problems. The suspense in "Twisted" is marred by barely cursory attempts to question Judd's sanity (too much whodunit, not enough did-she-do-it) and by the telegraphed nature of other red-herring killers (a slack-jawed stalker ex-boyfriend, for example).

The story stumbles over the loose ends of plot points (bloodstain DNA tests, a captured serial killer who messes with Judd's head like a two-bit Hannibal Lecter) that vanish when they're no longer needed. The investigation is vague, over-simplified and often imprecise (if nothing else, the DNA test should have at least revealed the sex and race of the killer). The writing is cut-rate, with most characters habitually speaking in self-satisfied smart remarks.

And Judd gives an uneven performance in which her supposedly innate analytical instincts are never in evidence beyond token establishing scenes, and her toughness and emotional troubles seem more like costumes than character traits. In the laughably hackneyed opening scene, she overpowers a suspect holding a knife to her throat, handcuffs him, then sneers ironically and says, "Oh yeah, one more thing" before karate-kicking the guy in the face.

Director Philip Kaufman (who must have needed a paycheck between quality projects like "Quills," "The Right Stuff" and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being") successfully exploits Judd's feminine vulnerability for all its B-movie potential and gives the unmistakable nooks and crannies of San Francisco (where he lives) a good workout -- no Canadian location-faking here.

But beyond giving "Twisted" a passable atmosphere of imminent danger, there's just not much he can do to infuse the movie with plausibility or even patch the cracks in its rudimentary psychological facade.



Twisted

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th February 2004

Box Office USA: $25.0M

Budget: $140 thousand

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Starkid Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 1%
Fresh: 2 Rotten: 133

IMDB: 5.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Dylan Saunders as Ja'far, Rachel Soglin as Princess, Jeff Blim as Aladdin, Meredith Stepien as Sherrezade, Joseph Walker as Achmed, Nick Gage as Sultan / Djinn, Jim Povolo as Captain, Lauren Lopez as Monkey / Ensemble, Jaime Lyn Beatty as Sea Witch / Ensemble, Denise Donovan as Bird / Ensemble, Robert Monion as Ensemble, Alex Paul as Ensemble

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.