Old 12-14-2000, 01:06 PM
(VIDEO) "The Last Seduction" (9/10)

"The Last Seduction" A John Dahl Film (9/10)

John Dahl ("Red Rock West"…a fun flick with Dennis Hopper & Nicholas Cage) is a master of noir, with a true feel for sexual tension at the heart of the melodrama, and with "Last Seduction", he creates an ironic film noir that gyrates along, fooling around its own rules exactly as it consummates them.

It's story is a noir standard…the femme fatale…built around a gorgeous, predatory woman who has no moral code, uses her body as a lethal weapon, and utilizes the weaker sex as one might use tissue…to soak up fluids and to dispose of. Linda Fiorentino ("Dogma", "Jade") stars as the hot and humid Bridget Gregory (great legs, dig?), a New Yorker married to a weak-willed physician (Bill Pullman) whom she's intimidated into selling pharmaceutical cocaine to street thugs for a profit of $750,000…but Bridget is too big-time to remain married to a nervous cheapskate like Pullman's Clay, particularly when he briefly revolts and hits her in the mouth. One of Fiorentino's great achievements here is that she really makes you feel her appreciation for the damage she's doing, and the gratification she derives from the power of her own charm. I mean, there is not a tremor of inconsistency anywhere in her…"I am bitch" she says…"hear me roar". (meow pussycat…I dig this babe) For smacking her, she punishes her husband by walking out with the $750,000…What's he gonna do? I mean, he can't call the fuzz…Instead, he calls a private investigator. Each week that Clay can't pay back a loan shark, he gets a finger broken, and when he runs out of fingers, who knows what then? ("Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels"-style) Bridget knows…it's part of the joke. Bridget moves out to western New York, a rural town called Beston for which the "big city" is Buffalo, while she figures out her next move…

Sitting in a bar on her first night, her next move walks in…blond "stud" Mike Swale (Peter Berg…by the way, what happened to this guy?), a self-depricating small-towner who is attracted to her exactly as he is frightened of her. It's not much of a match (think spider-woman meets fly-boy). When Bridget engages him with her dark eyes and grabs his package under the table, he melts. "You're the designated fuck", she tells him, her idea of a romantic line…

At the heart of "The Last Seduction" is its reversal of romantic ideals. The men…Mike and Clay…are true romantics, the clingy, nurturing, valentine-sending, battered-husband types. They look at Bridget and her beauty and contemplate sweet feelings of longing and attachment. She looks at them and sees…sex and a free lunch. Her great weapon is that love is a complete con to her. She feels nothing for anybody but herself and can therefore manipulate like Bobby Fischer (chess master-style), laughing to herself as she does it. The same contempt relates to geography too…In Beston she is like a hit man in a day-care center. Everywhere she looks she sees marks and fools and squares who weren't tough enough to make it in New York. "There's a place for losers and quitters", she tells Mike. "It's called Beston"…(I always thought it was New Jersey) So overwhelming is Bridget, so cunning and manipulative and full of dark charisma, that she truly becomes the flick. Even though Bridget is the point-of-view character, we never know her true agenda…

Overall: think "Body Heat" but not as good…it is definitely one of the best films of the nineties. After watching it again last night, I personally really think Linda is a major hottie in this film…she oozes sensuality and perversion. A master manipulator, she manipulated me into loving this film. It's also a good installment in John Dahl's career. The entire cast is good and the feel is real. It's a great flick that both chicks and guys will like…(9/10)
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Old 12-14-2000, 06:37 PM
Saw this movie in the theatre when it first came out, post it's ill-fated release on HBO. They say it would have been nominated, or at least Linda Fiorentino would've been given an Academy nod, had it not premiered on HBO.

Anyway, 9/10 is a bang-on rating for this movie. I found it thrilling and deceiving and conniving and raunchy and at times damn funny... That scene toward the end when Mike pistol whips Clay... Freakin' hilarious!

Anyway, for those of you who've not seen this flick - or ever really given Linda Fiorentino any credit as an actress - see The Last Seduction. It is a GREAT movie, Fiorentino is FANTASTIC, and the ending... Priceless.

Brock, hasn't Peter Berg gotten into writing/directing/producing... I know he was the spearhead for that briefly lived TV series Wonderland. After that...???
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Old 12-14-2000, 07:03 PM
SirReel...I just checked and it turns out after "The Last Seduction" Peter Berg directed that Vegas flick/black comedy "Very Bad Things" which was a Very Bad Movie unless you drink lots of alcohol first...he also acted in "Girl 6", "The Great White Hype", "Copland", "Dill Scallon" (a country-western Spinal Tap rip-off) and will be in the upcoming 2001 film release "Corky Bonono" about an undercover FBI/Mafia story (sounds like "Donnie Brasco") co-starring Peter Falk, Chris Penn, Richard "Shaft" Roundtree, Fred Ward and Chris Kattan...
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Old 12-14-2000, 07:41 PM
One of my all time favorite films. I have the movie poster and its framed and everything. I just recently saw it about a week ago and loved it. 9/10
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Old 12-17-2000, 10:09 PM
So you got the poster before you saw the film? I dig that kind of devotion by fans...I bought the "Magnolia" poster even before I saw or knew what the film was about...on a side note, I have a framed "Red Rock West" (same director as "The Last Seduction" poster in my game room behind the pool table, next to the bar...it's a great pic of Dennis Hopper and Nic Cage...
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Old 02-08-2001, 04:12 AM
<moderator bump>
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Old 06-20-2003, 06:54 AM
The Last Seduction 8/10

Great review Brock. I too am a fan of this lesser discussed noir gem.

John Dahl (I also love Red Rock West) helms with a confident eye and does the script justice by delivering an intelligent film that stays true and does justice to its influences.

Linda Fiorenti oozes raw sex appeal like few can and Bil Pullman as usual delivers a believable performance out of an extraordinary scenario. In this case the age old noir fave staples of femme fatales, double crosses and murder all under the moody atmosphere of shadows and minimalistic lighting, oh and it occasionally rains.

This film is a great example of the genre and truth that they can still make em like they used too.

Check it out.
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