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When a striptease dancer is brutally murdered in Las Vegas, detective Rita Cates and her partner J.D. Prejon are put on the case. There's not much to go on, but the evidence they've got points to Sam McKeon, an ex-cop. This puts Rita in a difficult position, because she and Sam used to have a scalding affair which ultimately led to her husband's suicide. They haven't spoken since, but she could never get Sam out of her mind. During the investigation they pick up where they left off, although Rita is constantly torn between trust and distrust, trying to keep an open mind. Eventually she has to choose, knowing that the wrong choice may get her killed! Written by
Peter Zweers <email@example.com>
Detective Linda Fiorentino on a murder case rekindles hot affair with suspect Daniel Baldwin
"Bodily Harm" appears on neo-noir lists, reason enough for me to check it out. I confirm that it is indeed a neo-noir. A stripper is knifed to death. Some time later, a psychiatrist is killed in the same way. Suspicion falls on wealthy Daniel Baldwin who had dated the stripper and who was seeing the psychiatrist. The two detectives on the case are Gregg Henry and Linda Fiorentino. Fiorentino had an illicit affair with Baldwin in the past. When discovered by her husband, he had committed suicide. Baldwin again seduces her. She gives in, although she's investigating him. She staunchly believes he is innocent, even as a circumstantial case is being built against him. His alibi in the stripper murder is questioned by another stripper who claims to have seen him at the club that night.
The story doesn't have a plethora of suspects, but it still manages to generate some suspense about the central mystery. It's not a real elaborate story or police procedural, focusing mainly on the Fiorentino-Baldwin relationship. Exogenous events and information tend to drive the progress of the police. It's not the most skillfully done such story, because it doesn't do as much with the conflicts and plot development as it might. It's just OK in juggling the plot twists that it has but without making the film really score. The behavior of the characters is not all that believable.
The acting is proficient enough, but Ms. Fiorentino could employ clearer enunciation. She also uses several mannerisms repeatedly that become annoying after awhile.
Overall, this one is below par but there was more than enough going on here to satisfy a noir fan like me.
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