Brian De Palma, a man once considered the finest director on the planet having helmed The Untouchables and Scarface, returns this week with Passion - a thriller based on the 2010 French movie Love Crime.
It stars Rachel McAdams and the ultra-talented Noomi Rapace and follows the story of a deadly power struggle between two women in the dog-eat-dog world of international business. Or at least that's what the promotional bumf says: essentially, McAdams plays a Berlin-based advertising executive who engages in a power struggle with her assistant Isabelle, who attempts to further her career.
Passion - De Palma's first movie since his war movie Redacted in 2007 - was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, but it won't win.
"Mostly it's another opportunity for this most self-referential of directors to dip once again into his well-worn bag of tricks," said the New York Post.
"One of [De Palma's] sillier and trashier pictures, with nothing much to recommend it apart from those long-delayed bravura sequences," said The A.V Club.
"Passion turns into vintage De Palma - which is to say, the film seems almost engineered to get you giggling at the extravagance of its absurdity," wrote Entertainment Weekly. Ouch.
Watch the Passion trailer:
There have been warmer reviews, though A.O Scott's reaction was hardly celebratory, writing in the New York Times, "Passion is often sleek and enjoyable, dispensing titillation, suspense and a few laughs without taking itself too seriously."
Not including his forthcoming effort Sisters, we have to go back to 1996's Mission Impossible to find the last De Palma movie that reached at least a 60% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Brian De Palma's Passion opens in the U.S. on August 30, 2013.
Rachel McAdams Stars In ''Passion'