American pharmaceutical executive Walter Richmond takes a business trip to Amsterdam, accompanied by his wife Cathryn and their 10-year-old daughter Melissa, who has been mute ever since an accident some time ago. To communicate, Melissa uses a small magic marker board that she wears around her neck. Melissa makes a trip to the ladies' room at the hotel De L'Europe and gets separated from her parents. Melissa wanders out of the hotel and onto the street, where she witnesses the murder of Simon Van Der Molen, the attorney representing Walter's Dutch client. Unfortunately, Melissa is spotted by the killers, who are hit man Bruno Decker and his employer Rudolph Hartman, who turns out to be Walter's client. Hartman had Van Der Molen killed to prevent Van Der Molen from revealing the side effects of Hartman's new medication, which he's marketing to Walter's firm. If Van Der Molen would have told Walter about the side effects, Walter would have declined the medication, and Hartman would ... Written by
...by watching this tripe! I waited nearly 3 years to see this film because I really enjoy William Hurt's performances, so you can imagine how shocked and (yes) disturbed I was when I began watching it on cable last night and saw how unbelievably BAD he is in this movie. He has a ridiculous on-again off-again Southern accent, and he cannot say one single line of dialogue that sounds convincing.
The material he's given is horrendous, it's true -- badly paced, thoroughly uneven in every way: the plot veers from pathetic stabs (no pun intended) at black comedy to morbid, monotonous melodrama and car chases, with not one truly satisfying moment in the entire film. Jennifer Tilly, surprisingly, came off very well here - she was believable and sympathetic throughout. Actually, there WAS one satisfying moment -- when this torturous exercise in trashy tedium finally wrapped up and the end titles rolled on the screen. William Hurt must have wanted to visit Amsterdam really bad.
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