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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful, Stylish film noir thriller

Author: Jack-98 from grapevine, texas
2 January 2001

I loved this movie. It was so beautifully shot and the acting was terrific across the board. It was great to see Angus Macfadyen from Braveheart in a completely different role. And Natasha Henstridge is a terrific actress. The story was very fun. Lots of twists and turns. And one great turn in the end. I loved the music. I looked up the credits and it was by Wendy and Lisa of Prince fame. Check out Peter Fonda for a wickedly tongue in cheek bad guy. All in all a fantastic stylish film. Why wasn't this in the theatres!

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

If everything else fails, there always Henstridge to look for.

Author: halopes from Lisbon, Portugal
23 November 2003

I caught this movie on TV after watching a rather suspicious promotional trailer. The first scene with the sensual Natasha Henstridge dressed in a semi-transparent white dress hooked me and I decided to give the movie a try.

The first half of Second Skin is pretty tolerable. I felt I was watching a fair and honest low budget noir picture, certainly moving toward some major twists. But I could never expect the plot could become so flawed and the second half of the movie could become so lame and dreary.

This predictable, cliché-ridden movie could have been interesting. The music and the photography create a nice, moody atmosphere. Henstridge is, well... sensual as the femme-fatale, and MacFadyen is ok as the guy running from his past. Even though I don't like the way some scenes are cut, the real problem is the plot which turns out to be some kind of mess in the second half of the movie.

After the 90 minutes of Second Skin it's frustrating to realize probably nothing will linger in your memory apart from the beauty of Henstridge.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Seconds Please

Author: Buck Aroo
16 October 2002

I liked this movie right from the beginning. It's obvious by the way it looks that it isn't a blockbuster, but it certainly was entertaining, moody, and well executed. I especially liked the music, which added to the atmosphere of the film, and was written by former Prince band members Wendy & Lisa. It stars the lovely Natasha Henstridge as a mysterious woman who wanders into a small bookshop looking for work. The dubious owner is sceptical at first, and refuses her request even though he is attracted to her. But he is soon drawn to her, as he witnesses her being run over as she leaves his store. Many good plot twists and turns follow, in this stylish thriller.

But the ending was unsatisfying, and left me wanting more.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A good mystery/thriller

Author: surfandski
31 July 2003

I have no idea why people are giving this movie a bad rap. This is a really good (small) movie with a great surprise ending. You will not guess it, which is more than you can say for 90% of the movies out there. The story moves along through twists and turns. Yes, the lead actor, whatever his name is, is and odd looking duden and maybe miscast, but the plot is so good that it carries him along. Natasha is in top form, I wish she would stop making other crap movies because when she is given a role she plays it well, really well. I don't know if I would go out of my way to see this movie but I usually watch it when it shows up on cable, twice already. 8/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Low-budget noir still haunting

Author: ADG999 from United States
18 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I caught this movie on late-night cable a few years ago, and watched it because I like Angus McFayden. I got wrapped up in the story, and it has stuck with me ever since. McFayden does such a good job of playing a suspicious, very guarded man who lets down his defenses when he falls for a beautiful woman. You can see in his eyes how he feels, without him ever having to say a word (reminds me of Russell Crowe).The pain he feels as he tells her how much he cares about her is palpable. You can tell how hard it is for him to let himself be vulnerable. Natasha Henstridge does a surprisingly effective job as the girl. She's not the world's best actress, but she makes us believe that McFayden's character would fall in love with her. The film was obviously shot on a shoe-string budget, but McFayden's acting helps bring the film up to a higher level. All in all, pretty good for late-night viewing.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Slick neo-noir junk (Spoilers)

Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
5 January 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Second Skin" bets everything on a hot babe, a scenic local, a handful of decent actors, a weak story and loses. Henstridge bumps her head, loses her memory, falls for some guy, gets her memory back and remember she's supposed to kill him. The story waxes somewhat more convoluted but lacks character depth and gives us little reason to care. Camera work is artsy for artsy's sake...nice try but no cigar. Fonda is unconvincing as the ultimate heavy, etc. Overall, this flick is a stylish loser not worth the time.

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I don't want your money honey.. I only want you.

Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY
8 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** What surprised me most about the movie "Second Skin" wasn't all the twist and turns as well as double and triple crossing of those in it. It was the fact that the movie was filmed in and around Capetwon South Africa. I could have sworn that the story took place in Southern California or at least on the sunny Florida coast.

We have in the film noir "Second Skin" the usual mystery woman calling herself Crystal Ball, Natasha Henstridge, who has, after being hit by a runaway car, trouble remembering her past. There's also the somewhat strange used book store owner Sam Kane, Angus MacFadyen, who seems not at all interested in attracting customers to his store but also, in how he has no worries at all about paying the rent, independently wealthy.

After Crystal's accident Sam gets very close to her not only hiring Crystal as his assistant, a job which at first Chrystal wanted, at the store but having this creepy looking guy Tommy G, Liam Waite, show up looking to buy children books not for any children but for himself! As things turn out Tommy G and Crystal do in fact know each other and are both working for the "Man" United Brotherhood of Tanners Union President Merv Gutman, Peter Fonda!

***SPOILERS*** As the movie slowly unfolds we realize that Sam the used book store man ain't exactly what he want's us, and Crystal, to think he is! In fact we also find that Crystal isn't exactly what she want's Sam, and us in the audience, to think who she's also! We also learn that Tommy G turns out to be not only Crystal's boyfriend but somehow working together with Sam in a elaborate pay-off scheme to Gutman whom Sam, before he became Sam, owns money too! On top of all this confusion there's former Goernment Treasury Agent Hawthorne, Norman Anstey, who's blackmailing Sam to expose his true identity, as if he didn't know that already, to Gutman and want's a cool half million dollars in order to keep his mouth shut!

The film just goes on and on with a series of confusing sub-plots and mind boggling double-crosses with Sam seeming to take on at least two other identifies, which makes it hard to follow his actions in the movie, by the time its finally over! The most confusing and odd-ball character in the film is non other then Tanner Union President Merv Gutman. This guy is so off the wall that even when he explains his reasons for wanting to do in the luckless Sam, who already paid off his debt to him, you get the strange impression that he just escaped from a local loony bin!

As for the big surprise ending the person providing the surprise was about the least surprising character in the movie! In that if you blinked or sneezed while watching "Second Skin" you could have very well have missed him, or her, in the previous less then cameo scene he was in!

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I enjoyed it

Author: jmkeating
27 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I found the twists and turns amusing right up to the very last one. Having seen it I feel that I shall have to watch it again to see if the chronology is right. For instance when you learn the truth about each character you would think that Crystal Ball should have already met Sam Kane. Another is the hit and run car having been stolen from... was it Cleveland, I'll have to see it again and do a pause on the driver as I have the impression that it was the "other woman". That would complicate no end the logic of the story.

I found the acting good overall - though it was a little contrived to prevent the public seeing "more" of Natasha Henstridge in the "love" scenes.

The DVD was sold here, a week ago, for 2euros, so the film company obviously didn't place much value in it.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Bad Ending

Author: zoltar55 from Canada
21 August 2001

This movie is very good except for the ending.It is suppose to be a surprise to me it was a let down and a big one at that.The story is well construct you come to care for the two main characters and then wham the ending.I own a few of those movies with that ending but this one it does not work at all.Sam and Crystal goes through so much together to end this way is stupid.I can't explain without revealing this bad ending so see the movie it is good only the last 4 minutes are stupid.The acting is very good except one character you see only three times,what is she in this movie I don't know.That's why the ending is so bad.But see it it is worth the price of the renting.I give it a 7 out of ten,I was so mad when I saw the ending that I give it a 7 but on the whole movie beside my reservation on the ending it is worth a 9 out of ten.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Excellent photography, weak screenplay

Author: FlickJunkie-2 from Atlanta, GA
26 April 2001

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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