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Lawyer Rick Magruder has a one-night-stand affair with caterer Mallory Doss. He becomes hooked on her, and when he learns her nut-case father Dixon is threatening her, he puts the weight of his law firm behind Mallory, has Dixon arrested and subpoenas her ex-husband Pete to testify against Dixon in court. Dixon is sent to an asylum, but escapes from there and the lives of many people are in danger. Written by
Robert Altman said that one of the reasons he took on "The Gingerbread Man" was because he had never directed a thriller before and wanted to give the genre a try. See more »
At the party early in the movie, Rick and Lois are talking head-to-head on the sofa. Mallory walks behind them and you can hear Lois talking, but we see their heads at opposite ends of the sofa and they aren't talking. The camera immediately cuts back to them sitting close and talking like before. See more »
[addressing her father]
Would you please stop talking to me as if I were Jeff's age?
What's wrong with my age?
See more »
The promising first half-hour is let down by the failure to develop the characters and thus waste a great cast. Downey Jnr is a fantastic actor but is given very little to work with, same goes for Hannah, Berenger and Janssen (who seems to have no purpose in the film whatsoever). Davidtz would've been great if her character had grown, but instead all she got to do was mope around for the whole movie. Majority of the bog-standard material here is given to Branagh, and although he is by no means poor, he just does not get the viewer involved in his battle.
The direction, for me, was the film's only virtue. Altman creates a wonderfully dark and intriguing atmosphere, it's just a shame neither the story nor the undercooked characters are equally dark and intriguing.
With more complex characters, more of Downey Jnr and Jansenn, and more explosive dialogue, I could've easily overlooked and forgiven the silly plot turns and contrivances, but sadly they stick out like a sore thumb.
Disappointing sub-noir thriller. 4/10
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