Malicious (1995) **
D: Ian Corson
C: Molly Ringwald, John Vernon, Patrick McGaw, Mimi Kuzyk, Sarah Lassez
Plot Synopsis: A medical student, obsessed with her school's star baseball player, pursues him and finally manages to get him to spend the weekend with her. However, when he soon returns to his girlfriend, her anger at his "betrayal" causes her to go over the edge and places both her ex-lover's and his girlfriend's lives in danger.
Review: I can't review Malicious without talking about its star - Molly Ringwald. In movies like Sixteen Candles & Pretty in Pink, Ringwald played the good girl who triumphed through adverse odds. Both of those films went on to become classics of the 80's teen genre and helped Ringwald land a cover on Time magazine. Fast forward to the mid 90's and after a string of box office bombs, Ringwald's career was on the down & out. So, what's the quickest way for an actress known for her wholesome image to get some attention? The answer's simple. To get naked and play a bad girl type character. That's exactly what Molly Ringwald has done with Malicious.
In it, Ringwald plays a medical student who has a fling with a star baseball player (Patrick McGaw). This includes sexual trysts on a boat, in a car, in public view w/ it even raining during said sexual tryst in a car! Par for the course, Ringwald bares her breasts during these sexual trysts. Watching these scenes, Ringwald looks awkward when it comes to the getting naked part, but her & co-star Patrick McGaw look attractive together and even generate some heat during these trysts.
Unsurprisingly, after getting to score with Molly Ringwald, McGaw's character dumps her to be rekindle his relationship with his girlfriend. To Ringwald's credit, I don't get why?!? McGaw's girlfriend is one of those girlfriends that has no personality other then to live & breath for McGaw's character. I guess McGaw's character needs someone to feed his ego?!? Getting back on point, not taking kindly to being dumped, Ringwald's character resorts to malicious behavior, including murder.
Even if you only have a smidgen of knowledge to the cinema of the 80's, it's obvious that Malicious is a clear cut ripoff of Fatal Attraction. There's been movies that have ripped off of other movies quite successfully. Go ripped off Pulp Fiction. The Fast and the Furious ripped off Point Break. Both of those films worked. The point is, ripping off a movie isn't going to make or break it. It's what you do with the material that does.
In the case of Malicious, there's no interesting character development, nothing particularly insightful that's being said about relationships, no psychology that makes you want to know why the characters do the things that they do and so on and so on. Malicious isn't a bad film per so, but a predictable one. One that's been told the same way in a variety of other films.
On the plus side, it has Molly Ringwald. On top of that, she's partially naked. As if that wasn't enough, she's flipped her good girl image on its head and even taken to a darker makeup palate and wardrobe styling. To give Ringwald a bit more credit, she looks striking in a goth inspired style and is even credible in the role. However, that isn't enough to hang an entire film on to! It's enough to make it a mild curio, but like Ringwald who was looking for a quick way to get her name back out there, Malicious is guilty of cutting corners when it comes to telling an obvious story in the most obvious way possible. The final result: an uninspired production. [R] 92 minutes.
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