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Sharon Stone plays a street-wise, middle-aged moll standing up against the mobs, all of which is complicated by a 6 year old urchin with a will of his own who she reluctantly takes under her wing after his family has been gunned down. Written by
BOB STEBBINS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Not an original set up but actually quite good despite the syrup
Gloria is released from prison having done her time the right way and never mentioning anything about her mobster boyfriend Kevin or his boss Ruby. She returns to find that he has not kept his end of the bargain. Also in Kevin's custody is Nicky Nuñez, a 6 year old boy whose family was killed for a disk of incriminating information. Gloria feels that the murder of a child is a step further than she can deal with and takes him and the disk. As the mob hunt them down Gloria realises her chances of survival are slim and tries to work out how to save Nicky.
I expected nothing from this when I sat to watch it in fact I was genuinely surprised when I saw that Sidney Lumet had directed it, as I had expected a trashy thriller-come-comedy of some sort. However the mood of the piece is set out early on when Nicky's family is murdered by Sean. This is a powerful and unpleasant scene in the film not overly gory but moving. The main thread of the film is the old `hooker with a heart of gold' type of thing and I must admit that this element is often it's weakest part. It's here that I felt old ground was being treaded and that the sentimentality was allowed to get a little out of hand. This is particularly evident in the final 10 minutes (awful ending by the way) but it raises it's head several times during the film where `Gloria learns valuable life lessons about herself' etc.
Happily for the most part this is offset by a some good thrills such as some good car chases, moments of violence and a good sense of menace from the mobsters. Stone has a difficult role. It is one that could be swimming in it's sentimentality. She doesn't totally succeed (her accent is a little forced at times) but she carries it reasonably well. Figueroa has an even harder role in being the cute kid. Sadly for the most part he is the `cute kid' and is a little irritating but he does have a few strong scenes that show there is more to him and he is good considering his age. Northam is OK, Starr brings real menace, Scott and Moriarty have clearly both been cast to add some class to the film but only have small roles.
Overall this is a reasonable film. To some extent we've seen it before and the sentimentality really threatens to sink it at times. However a real sense of menace and some strong scenes make this a better film and the thriller scenes, although not great, are solid enough when combined with these to make the film watchable just don't expect this to be without big areas of weakness though.
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