This film is a loving nod to the films of the late 70's--in cuts, setting and music choices (note the rotary phone, the answering machines, the women's lib and PMS comments, and of course Pam Grier herself--who looks fantastic). Filmed in 2000, it does an excellent job in depicting many of the characteristics of the 70's, though some of the tech and procedurals are of the 80's in a kind of mash-up. The dialogue was a high point with some pretty funny lines: "The only chemistry between you and me is a DNA test..." ; or this: "Did he have any enemies? That depends on how many wives talk in their sleep." It works because it's done perfectly straight, no sly wink at the audience. Many of the complaints were not justified; some of the acting was downright good--especially the interplay between the main characters, and in particular Pam Grier who plays her role with her usual panache. Rutger Hauer is an unusually charming Rutger Hauer which was a nice change, and his acting was better in this movie than I've seen in many of his others--I really don't get the criticism in this regard. Several of the extras/character actors feel flat or come across as slightly off-kilter stereotypes, but given what the film was trying to do, that may have been deliberate. The plot is pretty standard but plays logically with some interesting and rather unexpected twists, and an interesting big-pharma take. Unlike many of these movies, it actually does pay attention to little details--like a uniform giving them a "look" while they're talking (loudly) about their case in the hallway. Admittedly, there are a few--uh, unrealistic moments, but they were original and unexpected (ANY man will have a visceral reaction to one particular murder scene) and fit with the tone of the film, so in that sense, are forgivable. So, take this movie for what it is, an affectionate nod to the past, and overall an unexpected, enjoyable non-cerebral piece of entertainment.
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