A source of considerable frustration, TURNING POINT represents something of an anomaly within recent adult entertainment : a movie that delivers (in spades !) in areas you wouldn't expect it to while fatally faltering when it comes to its single essential ingredient. Actor turned director Jonathan Morgan, who made something of a miniature masterpiece with the Missy & Micky vehicle TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, joined creative forces with writer Martin Brimmer (a/k/a real world journalist Rodger Jacobs) as he had done most productively on his award-showered DOUBLE FEATURE for a freewheeling Elmore Leonard/Quentin Tarantino type narrative where characters' actions unwittingly determine the fate of others barely (if at all) known to them.
Easily one of the most sophisticated screenplays in present day porn, it's filled with quotable literate dialog that has an actual hardboiled noir rhythm to it, for most part handled with a declamatory sophistication you would think beyond the reach of even such a seasoned set of sex performers as has been assembled here. Still, when it's time for them to really earn that paycheck, they revert to auto pilot, exhibiting pure professionalism but little passion. It hardly helps that Morgan displays disturbing disinterest in this aspect that, played right, could have contributed to deepening already solid characterizations, as if he's embarrassed that this is still "only" a fornication film. Pretty much every sex scene, six in total (all of them boy/girl save for one Sapphic set-up), rigidly follows a set scheme, the sole surprise being inordinate attention paid to male to female oral pleasure, possibly in a bid to crack the couples audience.
Sad-eyed Sydnee Steele plays a jaded vice cop having an affair with Randy Spears as one of her husband's shady business associates. She's tailed by hired hit-man Brad Armstrong, who speaks in a curious Scottish brogue which shouldn't work but somehow does. At an all night diner, a textbook setting that allows ace DoP Jake Jacobs to go mad on venetian blind mood lighting, she attempts to break off an amorous affiliation that has run its course. Meanwhile at the counter, struggling screenwriter Joel Lawrence regales estranged spouse Kylie Ireland with prospects of an upcoming blockbuster deal with Hollywood mega producer "Harry Bartleby", just one of several unseen characters crucial to the story's inexorable spiral. Harried production assistant Devinn Lane reveals the proposed contract as a mere sick practical joke to rapidly growing impatient dominatrix girlfriend Nikita Denise. A pair of lowlife thugs on the lam, live wire Steve Hatcher and his apparently brain-fried moll Krystal Summers (Aphrodite on Morgan's HERCULES), provide the catalyst that draws the various narrative threads towards a conclusive climax.
Naturally large-breasted contract starlet Lane, a welcome relief in a sea of silicone Sallies, continues to impress with her natural acting ability, creating a complex character in just a few short scenes. Armstrong broods convincingly and has some choice moments with the magnificent Mike Horner, cast in a non-sex role as an author suffering from writer's block who thinks that putting out a contract on his wife might re-stir his creative juices. Stripped of her customary diva glamor, Julia Ann does surprisingly well as Brad's dissatisfied main squeeze, bringing a beguiling mix of despair and desire to what shapes up as the flick's most effective erotic encounter. The only other carnal frisson this reviewer experienced throughout came courtesy of the always intriguing Steele's closer with pretty boy Julian as she temporarily turns into a woman possessed, dripping with sweat, eyes wild and teeth bared.
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