Friday, March 4, 2016

Color of Night - Review - @BrandonCSites


Color of Night (1994) **
D: Richard Rush
C: Bruce Willis, Jane March, Rubén Blades, Scott Bakula, Lesley Ann Warren, Brad Dourif, Lance Henriksen, Kevin J. O'Connor, Andrew Lowery, Shirley Knight, Eriq La Salle, Jeff Corey, Kathleen Wilhoite

Plot Synopsis: A color-blind psychiatrist, Bill Capa, is stalked by an unknown killer after taking over his murdered friend's therapy group, all of whom have a connection to a mysterious young woman that Capa begins having intense sexual encounters with.

Review: Erotically charged thriller about a psychiatrist (Willis) whose colleague is murdered. With police suspecting that it's one of his patients, Willis takes over for his colleague so that he can find out who the killer is.

The premise isn't particularly creative, but it's been the launching pad for several suspenseful thrillers. For Color of Night, they try to disguise a routine premise by throwing anything & everything at the screen. As a result, it's never able to find its footing. At times, it's a thriller that's more on the horror side with some gruesome death sequences. However, these sequences are poorly staged & executed. There's a plot twist that's obvious from miles away. Topping it off is that the killer has one of the most ridiculous voices to ever grace a so called thriller. 

At other times, it's an action film with an unknown assailant chasing Willis through the streets of LA, in a car, with color tinted windows. On the surface, some of these scenes are exciting. However, they not only ask you to suspend logic, but to toss it out the window. A prime example is a scene in which a car comes crashing down before Willis' very eyes. Exciting? Sure, but ask yourself this. The assailant is on the top floor of a parking garage. Willis is on the ground floor. Neither party can see each other. How would the assailant be able to stage it so that a car will come crashing down, directly before Willis, if neither party can see each other? Let's not go there. How dare we ask for any kind of rationale in our movies!

There's also a few moments of quirky character drama, but these characters are an off putting lot. There's not one person that bears any semblance to real life. As opposed to trying to find something grounded in reality about their characters, the all star cast goes for theatrics. Since the cast & characters are so far removed from reality, how are we supposed to connect to anyone? How are we supposed to find any of them even remotely interesting since they've lost all touch of humanity?

Finally, there's moments of erotic thriller in which an over blown score plays while the camera work tries to exude a sense of grandeur. Just one problem. The act of sex is something intimate. You have to feel like you're merely eavesdropping when it comes to watching a sex scene. That's what makes watching a sex scene feel all the more risqué, because you're watching something that's supposed to be going on behind closed doors. While these scenes shouldn't have worked, they do to an extent, because Bruce Willis & Jane March are both very attractive people. Plus, it doesn't hurt that they get naked a lot! Willis even went as far as to campaign to make sure his scene of full frontal nudity was included in the film. So, if you've ever wanted to see Bruce Willis' penis, you're in luck!

At the end of the day, when it comes to the many Many MANY flaws associated with Color of Night, it doesn't even matter. Most people checking it out will merely want to see Jane March & Bruce Willis get naked and engage in a bunch of simulated sex. In that sense, Color of Night delivers a lot of bang for your buck. Here's one quick thought. Maybe, next time around, they could give us a good film to go with the sex & nudity? 
[R] 121 minutes.

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