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"No, this is not a love story, but is a story about love and the power it has over life, the power to heal, or to destroy."
TxMike22 August 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Set in the late 1880s in Cuba, Luis (Banderas), a wealthy coffee magnate, places an ad in a Maryland newspaper for a wife, "because America is the future." He tells his close friend, "She is not meant to be beautiful, she's meant to be kind, and true, and young enough to bear children." You see, Luis also thinks, "Love is not for me. Love is for those people who believe in it." He just needed heirs. The boat is due in at 6AM, they can be married at 9AM, and "I can be back to work by 10AM."

The boat comes in, he finds Julia (Jolie), who isn't homely at all, but beautiful. She tells him she sent him a photo of someone else, because she didn't want him to want her just because she was beautiful. To which he replies, "I'm not really a clerk with a coffee company, I own the company. I didn't want you to marry me because I am rich." "The we both cannot be trusted", she says.

some SPOILERS - The movie's title is aptly chosen. "Julia" is really Bonnie, who along with Billy ran away from the orphanage at age 14 and the two of them have lived a life of deceptions ever since. In another version this film could have been called "Billy the pimp and Bonnie the whore." Everything during the first half of this story was their murdering the real Julia on the boat, then assuming her identity so that Bonnie and Billy could steal all Luis' money, which they do after Luis foolishly converts all his accounts to "joint" accounts.

I found the first half of the movie more interesting. Bonnie is narrating from a jail cell, we know she was caught at something, not sure what, and they are preparing to execute her. The second half gets complicated as Billy, posing as a P.I., gets into the mix. The problem Luis has is this, even though he despises what Bonnie has done, he falls inexplicably in love with her, the person he finds in reality, with all her good and bad. She eventually reciprocates, they both end up wanting to get rid of Billy. They do, in an altercation when she shoots him.

Bonnie at the last hour works one more deception, convinces the priest in her cell that she is sorry and seeks forgiveness, and he swaps clothes with her so she escapes right before her execution. In the end we see Bonnie and Luis in Morocco, he is gambling, she is serving, and flashing secret signs for him to win by cheating. He started out as an honest man, she was his Eve, this has become his "original sin."

I can recommend this film, if for no reason than the remarkable job Angelina Jolie does with a script that doesn't deserve it. However, it also tells a good story of how love, in this case Luis', "has power over life." Most of us have done something out of character in the guise of love. The cinematography is lush, and surround sound is used for good effect. Terrence Blanchard (New Orleans trumpeter) adds a very good mood-setting soundtrack, like the wailing and sensuous trumpet tune, accompanied by percussion, during the first love scene.
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Much underrated!
diane-342 January 2006
Unfortunately I saw this marvelous film on TV last night-unfortunate because it was on the small TV screen and not a large movie screen. I admit it-I am totally taken by period pieces whose setting is somewhere in Latin America and if those movies have good sets and/or locations then I am smitten. Original Sin, set in Cuba and filmed in Mexico had the visuals down perfect-throw in the acting of Jolie and Banderas and you have a visual feast.

The book/script were fabulous vehicles for the acting of the majors as well as a framework that works beautifully for the intrigues that pepper this film. This script should keep viewers interested throughout and I will definitely be renting this film so that I can savour it without interminable commercials. I want to wallow in the beauty of the images and settings at least one more time.

Any viewer who likes settings and images from slightly earlier times owes it to themselves to look for Original Sin in their local rental shop because it is a wonderful film that seemed to slip by the reviewers when it was released.
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If truly watched, you cannot walk away from loving this gem!
cerasea5 December 2002
Usually I rely on the voting averages to give me an idea of how good a movie is. I have to admit that a 5.6 rating is much different from what I would give this film.

"Original Sin" seemed to be the movie that everyone walked away from. The only thing I remember about its opening was all the chatter about the nude scenes. I guess it reminded a lot of viewers about the whole "Wild Orchid"/"Showgirls" fiasco which is still etched in the mind's-eye of every self-conscious moviegoer. Perhaps this apparent smoke screen of an issue caused Angelina Jolie's (often chapped and super-pouty) lips to be sealed regarding her role in the movie. Likewise, the dependably silent/aloof Antonio Banderas was even harder to locate when it came to any promotion of the film. And after making sure every radio listener heard, "The Music of My Heart," even the inconspicuously conspicuous Estefans forgot to drop the hint that they contributed to the film's lushly romantic score.

The fact that this was not a perfect movie didn't prevent it from being an excellent one. I think the film's real problem was that it couldn't quite fit into the typical Hollywood hype machine that has crowned more inferior material with non-stop publicity and gratuitously "glowing" reviews. It could also be due to the fact that the plot, "not a love-story, but a story about love," didn't match the small space many viewers have reserved in their hearts for Romance and Drama - just not both!

Anyone who takes the time to TRULY WATCH THIS MOVIE will find that they cannot walk away from loving it. Banderas and Jolie succeed in being both glamorous and gritty. Antonio Banderas is one of the most beguiling actors in contemporary cinema (believe it or not). I am always amazed by the vast artistic depth that lays beneath the stereotypical Latin-lover super-bronzed matinée-idol exterior that he has been assigned to. Banderas' talents, like this movie, are grossly underrated and marginally explored. His every motion gives Vargas the pitch-perfect blend of simplicity and passion. Banderas' portrayal makes it hard not to hurt when Vargas hurts or trust when he trusts. This makes it easy to see why the naive Vargas and the lethal Julia/Bonnie are integrally compatible.

Wacko Jacko antics aside, Jolie, in all her un-Gwynnethness, is a site to have and behold. As the mysterious Julia, she is one mail-order bride who can both sell her body and steal a man's soul. Jolie succeeds in revealing every aspect of Bonnie's internal struggle to achieve personal authenticity while accepting a once-in-a-lifetime chance at true intimacy.

In many ways, the film is about humankind's universal need to be, "who we truly are" as well as the long, winding and often treacherous road toward love's salvation (closely examine the play Julia & Vargas went to see). The movie's many twists and turns represent the bloody sacrifices/transgressions that often mark the way. This was constantly echoed through a script which foreshadowed the story's theme (in a manner both poetic and hypnotic). Equally intoxicating were the use of nontraditional cinematography and sound techniques. They perfectly complemented the period-heavy scenery and costume. All these elements melded to create a picture that was at once abundantly sensual, visually stunning and emotionally sensitive - with an excellent ending!

Oh, and as for the much talked about "skin scenes". I thought they were well done. Gratuitous, yes. Gratifying - definitely! If you've got it, flaunt it. Banderas and Jolie absolutely have it, and then-some!
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Overlooked erotic thriller
perfectbond25 February 2003
Original Sin slipped under the radar and in fact tanked at the box office back in the summer of 2001 despite the fact that it starred Angelina Jolie at the peak of her fame. The movie itself is not bad at all. There are surprises a plenty which of course I won't reveal. Since the expected doesn't occur that provides plenty of incentive to follow the story through to the end. Since the movie is an erotic thriller there are of course... erotic scenes! Ms. Jolie is definitely an attractive woman by conventional standards! It goes without saying that her smoldering looks keep the viewer fixated on her character, Julia. Banderas fans should note that his chemistry with a female costar hasn't been this good since his hookup with Catherine Zeta-Jones in Zorro. Thomas Jane, whose other work I am not familiar with, is also excellent in his role. Very good entertainment, 7/10.
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il Purgatorio
Minerva_Meybridge23 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
It is unfortunate that American audiences appear to want three things in a film: action, action and more action. Original Sin is a tale of emotion. With beautiful cinematography, wonderful costumery, the plot is rivalled only by Hitchock's Vertigo.

Set in Cuba in the late 19th Century, the story revolves around a man, named Luis Vargas, played by Antonio Bandaras, and the mail-order bride, with whom he falls in love. Vargas, who at the start of the film is marrying for convenience alone, because of his business, finds himself emotionally capsized by the sumptuous Julia Russell, played to the hilt by the fulsome-lipped Angelina Jolie. But when Vargas's new bride suddenly disappears, the businessman discovers that his life is now totally based in her.

Let us go back to Vertigo, the obvious source of this film. In it, Scotty Ferguson, played by James Stewart, is obsessed with Madeleine Elster, played by Kim Novak. When Scotty witnesses Madeleine plummet to her death, his world takes a dismal tern, until he meets Judy Barton, her physical twin. The thing is that Madeleine and Judy are one and the same. Here was Hitchcock's irony of the illusion of Madeleine falling to her death actually gives rise to the demise of Scotty's soul.

In Original Sin, Angelina Jolie plays Eve to Thomas Jane's serpent. Antonio Bandaras is poor Adam, with only one woman in all of the world for him. There is even Lillith, all too quickly dispatched. But forbidden fruit, once swallowed, the loss of Paradise is soon to appear. From my point of view, this is a must see film with intelligence, symbolism and beauty.
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Pookyiscute10 April 2004
This movie was surprising to put it mildly. When I saw the cover, I figured it was going to be just your typical dark love story...ha ha, guess again. This movie was awesome! Not only does it keep you guessing throughout the entire story, you can't help but notice all of the eye stoppers. The cinematography was absolutely stunning, the filming locations were impeccable for beautiful scenery and spots, and the graphic love scenes...well, as much as I could have done without them, they certainly did add a lot to the film. Every part of the movie was exceptionally well done, and I fell in love with this piece.

If you're a movie buff like me, you might remember a little film that came out in 1994 with James Spader entitled 'DreamLover'. Now, although that movie is surpassed by Banderas and Jolie's hit, they do share a bit of the same flavor as one another. I remember seeing the Spader flick on t.v. one night and thought it was really great, however after seeing this I was reminded of the film, and thought that they shared similar traits. Though, as I said before, this movie was a lot better. Much more A quality, bigger names, bigger production, and basically more money was spent making it, which more often than not, is a good thing, and helps the film rather than hurting it.

Jolie and Banderas have never been favorites of mine, and in fact the only movie I ever liked Angelina in before this was 'Girl Interrupted', and Banderas in 'Two Much'. This one, though, made me think twice about both the actors abilities on screen. They executed such a great chemistry between one another. I found myself even crying by the end of the movie. It is truly unlike any other movie I've ever seen. Sure, the premise was similar to others that I have seen in the past, but the directing, acting and just whole feel of the film was so unique and so on its own. I loved it! I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great intense romance.

I would advice, however, that some of the scenes especially at the beginning are a bit crazy (sexually that is). Bare breasts, and well, just a whole lot of nakedness kind of take over the movie from time to time, so parents caution.

But, otherwise I give the movie two thumbs up, it rocked! I give it a 10/10! Great story about love!
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One of the better "Erotic Thrillers"
el_nickster11 May 2005
The film's plot, script, and acting are only average, but the film is buoyed by some sizzling chemistry between Jolie and Banderas. Their sex scenes are extremely memorable, so make sure you get an un-edited version (unrated).

Banderas plays a wealthy Cuban coffee farmer whose dedication to his trade has thus-far distracted him from the important business of finding a good wife. Using a matchmaker, he agrees to marry a woman from Connecticuit. He has been dishonest, however, in describing himself as a man of only average means. Banderas admits his dishonesty to his new wife (Jolie). However, it soon becomes clear that there is more to her than meets the eye, as well. Soon Banderas becomes so obsessed with Jolie that her lies destroy his entire life. He is well aware of what is happening every step of the way, but he doesn't care.

So, this is an interesting movie for a few reasons. As stated above, the sex scenes are among the best ever filmed. It is also novel to see a film about a man who is actually obsessed about his own wife. I personally could identify with Banderas in his willingness to give up everything for woman he knows he cannot trust. Heck, it happens to the best of us.
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I loved it.
georgeleague5 July 2003
No long comment here. I just thought it was a great movie. A lot if intrigue and plot twists, and of course, Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas were well matched as lovers. There was a lot more to this movie than just the sex scenes. 10/10.
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Surprisingly Good
QueenMakeda842 May 2004
I was pleasantly surprised at this film. Thinking it was more or less about Jolie's T&A, it actually had a decent plot with some twists and turns running throughout. I liked this film a lot. Her character had many levels that you didn't see coming. It seemed like a one dimensional character as most temptresses are, but Jolie was nothing of the sort. She attacked the role with her usual vigor and gave life to what could have been a meaningless character. Banderas was a little overdone I think, but it kinda makes sense with the lines he was given. Being all obsessed with his wife like that can make you seem overly dramatic. I'd recommend it.
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"Cheap Melodrama"
ldavis-219 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I rented the unrated version because of - I admit it - the sex scene. What a letdown! As I watched, I kept thinking: "aren't they supposed to be in love?" because they sure didn't act like it. There was no romance, no nothing. Like two wild animals. It left me cold.

The costumes were as yummy as the sets were fake. The leads were badly underwritten. Banderas nails Luis's little-boy innocence, Jolie nails Bonnie's ice-cold cunning, but I didn't care about either of them, nor did I believe that he would willingly ruin himself for her. That he winds up taking Billy's place was beyond belief!

And I have a silly question: how did Billy find out Luis was actually loaded if poor Ms. Russell thought he was just a humble clerk at a coffee company?
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erratic characters, implausible story, but nice lighting
Paul05 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I was expecting a good story, good character development, excellent acting from Jolie & Banderas, and some great erotic scenes.

What I got was a very implausible story that zigzags from love to murderous revenge and back again, no backstory, unsympathetic characters with erratic behavior, and a weird sadistic bisexual boyfriend/pimp (Thomas Jane's character). The sex scenes seemed passionless and were barely erotic. The acting by Banderas and Jolie was good, as were the sets, locations, and lighting, but it didn't rescue the film.

Don't waste your time on this movie.
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Should have been steamy and suspenseful-it's deadly dull.
Li-13 May 2003
Warning: Spoilers
* out of ****

Ah, the erotic thriller, a genre that now mostly exists in the form of straight-to-video or made-for-cable TV releases. But there are always the occasional theatrical releases, such as Basic Instinct (great sex scenes, sporadically interesting story), Bound (steamy sex scenes, good plot, Jennifer Tilly is annoying as hell), Wild Things (dull sex scenes, fun plot twists), and Color of Night (ludicrous story, but features one of the best sex scenes in mainstream cinema!). Original Sin can be added to the list, but it's easily the worst of the lot, giving us two stars who generate no heat, and a story that isn't ridiculously convoluted enough to be trashy fun. Really, this movie's all talk, without enough genuine passion, suspense, and not enough bare skin (and I saw the unrated version).

Antonio Banderas stars as an incredibly dumb coffee mill owner who's just been arranged to meet his mail-order bride. He's written letters to her and has seen some pictures of her, but when he meets her face-to-face, she's nothing like he expects. The bride turns out to be Angelina Jolie, whose sensuous looks and curves captivates our protagonist. It seems she sent a different picture of herself so that a man won't be looking to marry her for her looks. What a great, deceptive star to their marriage. Oh, yes, their marriage is bliss, as they continuously make love and declare their love for one another. But then it turns out she actually isn't his mail-order bride; she's taken all his money, leaving poor Banderas heart-broken and dead-set to find her. Enter Thomas Jane, whose role is obvious from the start to any semi-keen viewer.

Original Sin is the kind of film that will probably have your eyes rolling from all the overdone dialogue ("Can't you see I cannot...LIVE without you?!) and squirming in your seat as you wait for something important to happen. Story-wise, well, you'd be surprised how little plot there is. Aside from what I've described, there's hardly anything else to be mentioned. None of the plot twists are surprising or even amusingly over-the-top, so you'll probably find yourself tapping your feet out of boredom.

This might have still been a somewhat engaging venture if I cared about the situation and the characters, but no, Banderas' is too gullible to root for and Jolie is...well...I've honestly never much liked Jolie; she's always one-note with her performances and her huge lips and really creepy resemblance to Jon Voight (her dad) is a distraction that not even decent acting (which she doesn't qualify for) can account for. The fact that both actors (as well as Thomas Jane) don't even seem to realize they're starring in such a trashy film only damages the film further. They take this material far too seriously.

The only thing worthy of note in this entire film is a somewhat graphic sex scene between Banderas and Jolie. Cinema these days has grown rather tame with on-screen sex, so I guess it's nice to see nudity on display in a big-studio release (though, make no mistake, even unrated, this scene is not as graphic or even as well-directed as the sex scenes in Color of Night or Basic Instinct). Unfortunately, director Michael Cristofer manages to even screw up this scene, giving us way too many dissolves, fade-ins, and odd camera angles as if though he thought he was "spicing" things up. No, it just adds a yawn. Hard to believe, but Jolie managed to star in the two worst films of 2001, an accomplishment I don't think any other actor can boast. As far as erotic thrillers go, you'd be better off renting any of the films I mentioned above or better yet, Brian De Palma's edge-of-the-seat 1984 voyeuristic thriller Body Double.
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overrated and cheap
nandy-rinki9 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The movie's poster attracted me, seemed dark romance and I got much less than what I expected. The wealthy businessman played by Banderas is dumb and stupid who doesn't care if his wife is not what he thought of during their letter writing period. It also, doesn't matter to him that his wife vanishes with his money and is found with a chain of men. Jolie is in the movie to play the sex card from Banderas to Thomas Jane both had a nice time with her. Aside from her super pout and intimate scenes there's little she brings to the screen. I have never liked her acting aside 'girl interrupted'. The dialogs are stupid and immature and the ending is far more than disappointing.

Watch it if you are an admirer of either one of the leading actors or for the nude scenes. There's nothing much to say here.
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What the heck was that?!
janerosslj25 May 2018
Omg, I have never watched anything so weird! Way to long romance scenes, along with how random the characters were. Antonio was one minute, so in love with Julia than he wanted to kill her. Literally. But when he had the chance, he was in love with her again?! Really?! Talk about a disappointment. I got half way through and had to turn it off. Not watching this crap. Not for anybody.
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so sexy...so hot
doriann0075 May 2003
I found this movie very stirring. I found the chemistry between Banderas and Jolie so enthralling. Leaves you breathless and wanting more. Jolie is the perfect actress to play this bad girl with such grace and sexuality. Banderas becomes every woman's ideal...rich, handsome, passionate, and that ACCENT!! A perfect movie to watch with a signifigant other...if you know what I mean.
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Flagrantly ridiculous; one can have a good time laughing at it in spite of Antonio's strong performance...
moonspinner558 August 2010
A wealthy, handsome businessman in 1880s Havana advertises in the States for a marriageable woman to sail to his country, become his bride, and bear his children; however, the sultry, lusty young thing who arrives from Delaware curiously bears no resemblance to the photograph she has sent (she's even hotter!), and soon a private detective is snooping about asking questions. Cornell Woolrich's novel "Waltz Into Darkness" would seem an ideal murder-mystery/sexual thriller to absorb a modern-day audience (as a storyteller, Woolrich was far ahead of his time), but writer-director Michael Cristofer doesn't have the teasing personality, nor the sure-handed style, to bring out the juicy twists of this tale. Leads Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie look good together in and out of their clothes, but his forceful, full-blooded acting eclipses hers by a mile. Jolie is not convincing in this period setting; she has little range and, once the camera begins feasting upon her features in Mount Rushmore-like close-ups, her focus visibly wavers (it's a dreadful performance). Told in flashback, we are immediately privy to Jolie's mysteries, with an outcome that defies explanation. Cristofer intermittently tries out different photographic tricks and editing techniques, presumably to pad the running time but in effect showing off his uncertainty as a filmmaker. The dialogue (and Jolie's indifferent delivery of it) is often ludicrously funny, though Banderas deserves credit for at least attempting to take his part of the project seriously. *1/2 from ****
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Enough to make it watchable
MisterWhiplash6 August 2001
Original Sin, a movie with scandal, surprises, and a whole lotta love (I mean the physical kind) has Antonio Banderas as a wealthy Mexican coffee maker owner who orders a mail order bride (weird to have this in 1900) played by Angelina Jolie. They get married, seem to start falling in love, but then the film turns into a twisting film. These twists give some great scenes of power for Banderas and Jolie to work off of, plus a excellent amount of sex and nudity from Jolie and a good feeling for the movie throughout. Unfortunately, the film has some flaws including an overused music score, overacting, scenes that make the film confusing, and an ending that had me a little dissapointed, then really dissapointed. Still , it's OK. Thomas Jane has some wicked fun playing a, uh, detective. B
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A grand and shiny monument to implausibility.
unreconstructed1 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** I'm trying to remember a worse movie that I've seen....can't do it. Maybe it'll come to me before I finish this review. Let's see, how to begin: A rich, handsome, outgoing Cuban businessman(Banderas) intentionally decides to screw up his life. Why?? Blank-out. No answer. The Plan: he decides that a bad marriage will be his downfall. Okay, but how does one intentionally design a marriage to be so bad as to destroy oneself financially, emotionally, spiritually.

**********MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD***********************

Since the antihero is handsome, rich, and outgoing he could easily marry one of any number of women, most of whom would jump at the chance. Many of these theoretical matches might possibly work out. No, no...there's got to be a worse way. I know: the man must marry a complete stranger found via a newspaper ad placed in a foreign country. That's it. And to lessen the probability that she is compatible with the man, the woman must arrive in the man's country no more than 3 hours before the wedding takes place. The man and woman must know nothing about one another except the lies they've exchanged with each other in establishing contact via the mail.

Okay, now here's the shocker. Are you ready for this. Hold on to your seat. Despite these elaborate plans to undermine the marriage from the start, the marriage does not in fact work out and the man is destroyed financially, emotionally and spiritually. What I have just related is the precise opening premise this movie expects you swallow in order to grab your attention for the movie's remainder. If it sounds implausible to the point of imbecility, well, that is not my fault.

To be fair, although this movie in no way deserves it, the woman he marries is a con artist(Jolie) who has helped kill the actual intended bride and assumed her identity. But that absolutely doesn't matter, because it may just as well have been the con artist who answered the man's marriage ad as any other woman.

I really can't discuss this movie much further...the level of irritation Original Sin caused me makes it out of the question. Let me just say that the account I've related so far is not the most implausible element in the movie. For example, let's assume for the sake of argument that you are a psychopath. Somebody tells you they love you a total of 999 times. But you are a psychopath and it has no effect. So you decide to poison the person who loves you. Hey, it's what psychopaths do. Somehow the person finds out you've poisoned their drink and they tell you. Right before the person drinks the poison they tell you for the 1000th time that they love you. They knowingly begin to drink the poison. Suddenly, the scales of psychopathology fall from your eyes and you see everything in a different light. You spring to your feet with all the good-hearted innocence that a recently cured criminally insane person can muster and try to knock the poisoned drink from their hands.

Here are the crucial questions: Do you find this plausible? Possible? Psychologically realistic? If so, let me state in the strongest possible terms: This movie was made for you.

Hey, I just had a revelation. I just remembered a worse movie I saw: Ed Wood's Love Feast, aka Pretty Models All In a Row. I knew I could do it!!
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Love Is Blind
ccthemovieman-130 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Here's a "steamy" film - at least early on - about a Cuban (Antonio Bandaras_ who marries an American woman he had only previously written to, only to find out later she (Angelina Jolie) wasn't that woman but a scheming impostor (Billy Bob found this out in real life!)

This is nicely photographed, "lush" being the best adjective to describe it. I didn't find the story very involving, yet it wasn't boring and I could relate to Bandaras' character. Perhaps many men could with the old "love is blind" story.

This is one of those films with poor messages here and there where corrupt people live happily ever after despite their overt sins. There is an "R" version and a "unrated" version of this film, the latter being two minutes longer.
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slow moving erotic thriller
SnoopyStyle2 May 2015
It's 19th century Cuba. Luis Antonio Vargas (Antonio Banderas) is surprised that his mail order bride Julia Russell (Angelina Jolie) is that beautiful. She tells him that she deceived him with fake photos and he misled her about his wealth. They get married but later, she disappears with all of his money. Detective Walter Downs (Thomas Jane) arrives to find the real Julia for her sister Emily.

This wants badly to be an erotic thriller. With the beautiful Jolie and sexy Banderas, this should be simple sexual dynamite. The problem is that the plot is slower than molasses and all the explosive eroticism in the world cannot drive this movie forward. Jolie can be extremely hot but she leaves me cold here. This movie doesn't have any excitement and certain no thrills at all.
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Lush, Lurid, and a Little Lame
LeonLouisRicci27 July 2014
If You are a Fan of Sexy Stars Angelina Jolie & Antonio Banderas this Might be a Movie that is Worth Checking Out. If You are a Fan of Jolie's Lips than it is a Must See. Because there are Numerous Closeups of those Famous Kissers. There is Also a Generous Amount of Nudity and if You Catch the Unrated Version, More.

The Film is Lavishly Produced and Looks Sumptuous in that Steamy, Tropical, Lurid Way that these Types of Antiquated Stories Set in an Antiquated Cuba must Deliver. Otherwise You pay Too Much Attention to the Dialog and the Expected Twists and Turns that are Forthcoming.

Noir Writer Cornell Woolrich is the Source Material here and it is All Double Crosses and Unreasonable Love (or is it lust, someone asks) and the First Ending before the Real Ending will Answer that Again and Again and Again and Again.

Not the Worst of this Type of Thing it has Enough Chutzpah to Carry the Heavy Handedness for the Duration. Just Don't Expect Anything too Snappy. It isn't Exactly as Crappy as the Critics Insist and its Mega Failure at the Box Office Speaks for Itself.

But here it is, Take it or Leave it. Both Stars went on to Better Things and this Semi-Embarrassment did Little to Halt Them with Their Limited Appeal. If Anyone Noticed or Cared, the Flashbacks are a Horrible Misstep and Thomas Jane is Miscast.
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Lukewarm at best
hall89521 December 2012
Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie star in an erotic thriller which is not particularly erotic and certainly not thrilling. Yes, the obligatory Banderas-Jolie sex scene sizzles. But after that the movie fizzles out completely. The heat goes out of this movie very early on. The story relies on myriad plot twists which never really convince or satisfy. The dialogue is awkward throughout, often downright laughable. The acting leaves much to be desired. Banderas and Jolie are not very good. But they're better than Thomas Jane who, in the movie's one key supporting role, hams it up to ridiculous extent. There are a few interesting moments sprinkled throughout. But not nearly enough of them to save what is ultimately a rather bad movie.

The movie's story is told in flashback with Jolie's character, Julia, narrating. She does so from a prison where she is awaiting execution. How did she get there? Should be interesting finding out. Should be but really isn't. The story unfolds in 19th century Cuba with the Banderas character, Luis, having sent for a mail-order bride. Julia duly arrives from Delaware but she is not the woman in the photograph she had sent ahead of her arrival. She is not the woman she claimed to be but Luis is not who he claimed to be either, much wealthier than he had let on. But while it becomes apparent that Luis truly has the best of intentions it is just as clear that Julia is a woman with some demons and secrets. What darkness lies beneath the surface? Detective Walter Downs, played by Jane, shows up to help Luis sort out the mess Julia makes. From here the story relies on tricks. But you can see the twists and turns coming a mile away. There's nothing to surprise you. There's really very little of interest at all. The story limps along towards its conclusion. Yes, we find out why Julia's in that prison cell. But by the time we do most in the audience will find they really don't care anymore. The movie has completely lost its hold on us. And then as a final insult the ending is just ludicrously stupid, a tacked-on bit of nonsense which undercuts the whole movie. Not that there was very much worthwhile to be undercut anyway.
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Related to François Truffaut's "Mississippi Mermaid" (1969)
serge_marelli21 January 2011
This movie seems to be a remake of François Truffaut's "La sirène du Mississipi" (1969, "Mississippi Mermaid"). Although this might be becauseboth quote Cornell Woolrich's novel "Waltz into Darkness" as source.

I consider Truffaut's movie to be of better make. The erotic charge is much less in Mississipi Mermaid. The tension between (young) Belmondo and Deneuve is of a very different nature than the relationship between Jolie and Banderas. If you're looking for "hot scenes", go for Benderas & Jolie, if you're into classic cinema, then Truffaut is your choice (but you probably already know that.
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just a vote of thanks
bexxgirl12 August 2003
for putting two of the most charismatic and sizzling actors together on-screen at last. the chemistry oozes from their pores, and it has been a long time since two such sexy actors have been seen in a clinch.

their passion is tangible and gritty; while their story is not complex, their desires are. kudos to the casting agent.
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Terrible script-good acting
HFenderchick19 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
*contains a spoiler*

I guess MGM overestimated the movie-goers desire for this type of love story. It is made very clear that this, in no way, was a love story, but a story about love. It seems that the main point of the movie was to show how love gets into your every pore, where it makes a person incapable of being outside the intoxication of their complement. Although this idea is both romantic and great in theory, seeing it on screen was a bit sickening. Even the summary on the back of the dvd made me feel uncomfortable and nauseated. Angelina Jolie does an excellent job with this monstrosity. She delivered my favorite line in the movie *SPOILER* Jolie: He needs a doctor! cop: what about him? ::bang:: Jolie: he's dead, now get him a doctor!

Thinking about successful movies, Original Sin should have been great because it included, plot twists, sex, beautiful women, beautiful men, great acting, and love. Somehow, I think is was just too over-the-top. I guess the "mail order bride" idea should have been abandoned after Nicole Kidman's "Birthday Girl" --with Original Sin, I felt the same twinge of hatred as I did for Birthday Girl. But movies that are so terrible at first glance permeate throughout my body being the only thought in my mind, until I have to watch again and again, forcing movies I hate to transform into some of my most treasured pieces of entertainment. I love Birthday Girl and I'm sure I will love Original Sin.

For those who I have completely confused, just watch the movie. Even if you don't like it you should be able to say at least you tried. Plus, Angelina Jolie is brilliant (even though she got the razzie award for worst actress-don't ask me where that came from-whoever nominated her needs to take a good look at the brilliance it takes to turn a terrible script and terrible characters into tangible people.) Just watch it and find out for yourself.
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