Slow Burn, starring Ray Liotta, LL Cool J, Mekhi Pfeiffer and Jolene Blalock, is a thriller that starts to fade as soon the opening credits roll, and by the big bang at the end, the flame has already gone out.
Liotta stars as the District Attorney who is running for mayor, but who finds himself in a political dilemma when his star assistant DA (Blalock), a hot, sexy, mixed race woman, ends up killing a man. Though she claims self defense, Liotta soon learns that what appears simple isn't actually so simple. As more and more stories about her background come into play, Liotta begins to realize that he is in the middle of a hornet's nest, and it may be his ass on the line.
Aside from getting dumped into a forgettable release date with little marketing and years on the shelf, I must admit that Slow Burn had me intrigued based on the previews. A homage to old school thrillers, where no characters can be trusted and multiple twists are guaranteed, Slow Burn had its appeal. Unfortunately, writer/director Wayne Beach doesn't know how to draw everything together and excite the audience in the process, and the result is a boring, un-sexy thriller that completely loses itself in the third act.
I know what Beach was thinking when he started this movie, because I've started stories on the exact same concept. I sit at my computer, ready to write, thinking about how I can take a bunch of seedy characters, mix them together and have a suspicious but gorgeous woman who likes to sleep around, and make a story out of it. Beach got to that same point - he knew he needed to have a sexy woman sleep with a couple of different guys, but beyond that, the story would work itself out. Unfortunately, when you start at the sex and not the story, the story ends up weak, as does the sex.
Slow Burn really isn't intriguing after the first minute, and due to the absolutely dreadful dialogue ("She stood there smelling like a tangerine" and "She walked in smelling like mashed potatoes and every guy within thirty feet wanted to be the gravy" are some of the poorly delivered lines from LL Cool J - but, then again, how can anyone deliver lines like that seriously?) and pitifully bad plot elements, you'll quickly lose any interest in the sex. The plot twists are nearly non-existent, and the few that do hang around are predictable.
The dialogue, plot and everything else in Slow Burn is like a match long gone cold - not very interesting, even for a second.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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