A tough guy named Tommy Gunn, with "kaos" tattooed on his neck, a beautiful blond named Crystal Ball who's struck by a car and can't remember her past, a sadistic scalpel-wielding mobster in Cleveland, a balding schmuck gambling in Las Vegas, a reclusive bookstore owner in a small coastal town who discourages customers, and the hit-and-run driver of the SUV that hits Crystal: what connects them? Sam, the bookstore owner, comes to Crystal's aid after the accident; an affair begins. When she's menaced by Tommy, Sam tries buying him off. As Crystal begins to remember her past, the question arises about Sam's: why is he in hiding? Written by
This dark mystery/thriller begins well enough, but it gets increasingly implausible until by the end it loses most of its credibility. Crystal Ball (Natasha Henstridge) walks into a second hand bookstore owned by Sam Kane (Angus MacFadyen) ostensibly to apply for a job. Upon leaving, she is hit by a car. Sam takes her to the hospital and cares for her while she recovers. The impact causes her to lose her memory, so she doesn't know who she is or where she lives. The two fall in love and then Crystal suddenly remembers that she was sent by Merv Gutman (Peter Fonda) to kill Sam because Merv thinks Sam stole money from him. The film goes through a number of gyrations including confrontations between Crystal and her boyfriend Tommy G (Liam Waite), Crystal and Merv, Sam and Tommy G, Sam and Merv, Crystal and Sam, etc., etc.
The plot has a few interesting twists, but the dialogue is banal and many of the scenes drag. However, for a film made on a $3.5 Million budget, director Darrell Roodt delivers some excellent photography and shows himself to be talented at creating powerful imagery.
If there are two things that stand out from this film, they are the talents of Roodt and Henstridge. Roodt gives the images style and richness with interesting perspective shots and a number of beautiful location shots. I'd like to see him get a more prominent project where he can put his talents to work. Natasha Henstridge carries the film with an excellent performance that should portend a shot at meatier roles in the future. Her striking appearance and superior acting ability is made even more obvious playing against journeyman Angus MacFadyen, whose performance here helps validate his relegation to supporting roles throughout his career. MacFayden is stiff and forced, contributing little to the believability of his character. As mediocre as MacFayden is, Liam Waite is worse. Peter Fonda gives a nefarious performance in a minor role.
This film isn't bad for a B movie and shows twinkles on the horizon for Roodt and Henstridge. I rated it a 6/10. With a stronger screenplay, it could have been very entertaining.
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