Jade (William Friedkin, 1995)
[originally posted 22Oct2000]
Good things about Jade:
1. Gratuitous use of Loreena McKennitt
Okay, I’ll try to be fair. Things that SHOULD have been good about Jade:
1. William Friedkin. What the hell was he thinking?
2. David Caruso, if he hadn’t been trying to sound exactly like Russell Crowe
3. Chazz Palminteri, if he hadn’t been trying to be Joe Mantegna
4. Richard Crenna attempting to use the F-word in a serious conversation, had Friedkin been filming it for laughs
I mean, this guy directed The Exorcist! He’s won Oscars! He’s good at what he does! Honest! But the whole responsibility for this exceptionally boring film can’t lie on the head of scriptwriter Joe Eszterhas—who really hasn’t written a decent script in thirteen years now—alone. Some directors are capable of taking mediocre scripts and turning them into fantastic films. Hell, Friedkin did it earlier this year with Rules of Engagement, to an extent.
So what happened here? I don’t know. Perhaps Friedkin was as bored with the movie as I was. An old, rather powerful man gets killed in a way that suggests a sexual killing. Over time, the lead investigator (Caruso) uncovers what looks like a very high-class prostitution ring. Hmmmm. Law and Order and NYPD Blue hadn’t been doing that sort of thing on television for five years already. No, not at all. Aside from a little more nudity than you’ll find on NYPD Blue (and to be fair, Linda Fiorentino is a lot easier to look at than Dennis Franz!) and a little more profanity than you’ll find on any police drama, there’s nothing here you won’t find on prime time. Prime time usually has plot twists that work, though. (Half a star for Loreena McKennitt.)
There are two copies of the trailer on Youtube. Both are telling me video not available. Perhaps my flash is borked and you will have better luck?