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Fay Forrester, an attractive young lady wants to escape from her violent and jealous boyfriend Vince. So she hires Jack Andrews, a second class private investigator to arrange her death. She wants to restart her life with a new identity and the money she robbed together with Vince. Because of Jack's financial problems he joins Fay after her fake death. Unfortunately Vince finds out that Fay's still alive. The hunt for Jack, Fay and the money begins... Written by
Markus Lasermann <email@example.com>
Co-writer and director John Dahl updates the film noir genre for the late 1980s with this entertaining, if fairly standard plot wise, bit of crime fiction. He would also show with subsequent efforts such as "Red Rock West" and "Joy Ride" his ability to capture on film the beauty and desolation of various rural locations. The movie is certainly well cast: Val Kilmer plays Jack Andrews, a Reno private eye who's *really* fallen on hard times. He owes the mob a fair chunk of change, and what at first appears to be his salvation arrives in the form of super sexy Fay Forrester (Joanne Whalley, married to Kilmer at the time), who we already know is a bad, bad girl having seen her double cross her partner in crime, Vince Miller (Michael Madsen, in full blown psycho / thug mode). Fay's idea is that to avoid Vince, she'll hire Jack to fake her death. As one can imagine, things go more and more wrong for Jack, a definite patsy who is drawn to this femme fatale even when all common sense is telling him to stay away. There are no real surprises here, but then Dahl isn't actually out to reinvent the wheel, just put a modern - sometimes comic - spin on a classic and well regarded genre, with archetypal roles, a serious tone, and occasional bursts of violence. The movie is good fun for any fan of film noir, sort of taking its time at first but picking up in intensity as it goes along. Good supporting performances by Jon Gries, as Jack's loyal friend, Michael Greene, as a surly police detective, and Bibi Besch (too briefly seen), as Jack's secretary, are all assets, but the biggest thrill comes from watching the sultry Whalley sizzle and scam her way through the story. As femme fatales go, she's a very watchable one. The movie's not particularly memorable, but is still fine viewing while it lasts. Seven out of 10.
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