It's Oscar weekend, the time when studios traditionally dump some of their lesser offerings onto the marketplace, resigned to the fact that audiences will be too busy catching the nominees one last time to check out any new releases. Into this void comes Twisted, a ridiculous patchwork of cop-movie clichés soaked in post-feminist angst that offers several unintentional laughs, but is not quite bad enough to join the annals of classic bad moviemaking.

The film's genre-bound tackiness is especially surprising given that it is directed by Philip Kaufman, the helmer of such socially, politically and/or historically significant films as The Right Stuff, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and, most recently, Quills, which made the Marquis de Sade out to be some sort of transgressive hero—though it is worth noting that the villain in that film was not the priest, who was actually somewhat sympathetic, but the dogmatic man of science.

At first, it seems that Twisted, which begins with cloudy shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline obscured by fog, might be aiming for something similarly artsy. But then the camera comes to rest on Ashley Judd, and the knife that a man has pressed against her throat. The man gropes her, then touches something he hadn't expected—she's carrying a gun! That's right, Judd is no mere passive victim—she's a cop! And with that revelation out of the way, she proceeds to knock the guy to the ground, call for back-up, and then kick him in the face just for good measure. You go, girl!

From then on, the film never even tries to be more than a routine thriller informed by amateurish psychology. The next scene takes us to a bar where the Judd character, Jessica Shepard, ...

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Twisted
Our Rating
1½ Stars - Weak
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
R (for violence, language and sexuality)
Directed By
Philip Kaufman
Run Time
1 hour 37 minutes
Cast
Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson, Andy Garcia, David Strathairn
Theatre Release
February 27, 2004 by Paramount Pictures
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