Has anyone noticed that Ashley Judd's crime thrillers get worse with every pass? She made a name for herself with 1997's Kiss the Girls, but since then has done movies like Double Jeopardy, High Crimes and some sappy romantic comedies. We won't even begin to talk about Eye of the Beholder. Now, our beautiful tough woman has disappointed once again with another cop thriller, the bland Twisted.
Twisted is about a police officer (Judd) who is investigating a string of murders that all point to one prime suspect - her. She's had sex with every victim and more and more keep turning up, all brutally beaten. Even worse, she suspects herself because she blacks out every night that a man is murdered.
It is an interesting concept, but fairly obvious and drained of any suspense by director Philip Kaufman.
The problem with Twisted - and the SPOILERS start here - is that the ending is predictable. You maybe won't be able to guess who the killer is until the last half hour - twenty minutes before he or she is actually revealed - but you can guess exactly what is going on. Judd suspects herself of murdering these people and Kaufman tries really hard to convince us that she is indeed the one responsible. The storytelling's forceful nature makes it perfectly clear that Judd is not the killer, which basically makes two-thirds of the movie pointless. In addition, how can this intelligent cop not realize that she is getting drugged via her alcohol? She blacks out every night after having her daily dose of booze. The director also lets slip her innocence when Judd collapses in the kitchen and wakes up the next morning in the exact same spot, but supposedly we're too stupid to be able to figure that out.
Aside from the poor execution of the first two acts, the third act is just downright dumb. The killer becomes very obvious very quickly, yet his or her motives really make little sense aside from insanity. If you're trying to protect someone, why make it look like they are the murderer? I never understood it and apparently neither does Judd, as she doesn't figure out things until it the killer is waving his or her hand in front of her face.
Twisted had potential but the story never clicks. The movie lacks suspense and a good plot, and can easily be considered a waste of good talent that includes Andy Garcia and Samuel L. Jackson.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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