Swimfan

"Grim"

Swimfan Review


"Swimfan" is the kind of thriller that requires, for the plot to move forward, a complete absence of common sense on the part of the hero -- in this case a high school swim team star (Jesse Bradford) with a sultry, psycho, jailbait stalker (Erika Christensen).

No matter what crazy thing the deranged girl does to him -- leave her panties in his car, email him 81 times in a day, spike his urine sample with steroids, frame him for murder -- Bradford never tells a single person what's really going on because if anyone was watching his back, there would be no movie.

Which isn't to say "Swimfan" doesn't have its guilty pleasures. OK, one guilty pleasure. Christensen -- Michael Douglas's smack-addicted daughter in "Traffic," a beautiful girl with the heart-shaped face and sly, portentous eyes -- is such a fun, wicked, spiteful villainess that she keeps the flick afloat all by herself.

No help comes from the very vanilla Bradford ("Clockstoppers") -- a snarl-smiling product of the Keanu Reeves/Freddie Prinze, Jr. school of single-expression acting. No help comes from Shiri Appleby (TV's "Roswell"), who lacks any discernable personality as Bradford's blandly ideal girlfriend, to whom he's so devoted that he has sex with Christensen within days of her transferring to their school, thus setting off the girl's delusional obsession that quickly turns dangerous.

Christensen dominates the movie from the moment she begs Bradford to "Tell me you love me!" when they're going at it in the campus swimming pool after hours. "You don't have to mean it," she whispers so ominously that you know she means the exact opposite of what she says.

But even Christensen's character has some problems (besides the obvious mental ones), not the least of which is that costume designer Arjun Bhasin has, for some reason, dressed the 17-year-old like an "Ally McBeal" lawyer.

First-time director John Polson has an eye for richly shadowy visuals, but the man went overboard with revolving cameras and gratuitous repetition of multiple takes in several tense scenes. He must have seen similar effects used to drive home emotions in films by, say, a Steven Soderbergh or a Lars Von Trier. But in Polson's inexperienced, B-movie hands the editing of these multiple takes is so haphazard that it proves a major distraction in what should be some of "Swimfan's" most jarring moments.

Of course, stuck with a hero that has no wits, "Swimfan" has to go to implausible extremes to find a climax, and in its final scenes even Christensen can't deliver a convincing performance when called on to take her character to the lunatic fringe.

"Swimfan" might be a good rental if you want to throw popcorn at the screen with your friends sometime after it's out on video. But it's certainly not worth the price of a movie ticket.



Swimfan

Facts and Figures

Run time: 85 mins

In Theaters: Friday 6th September 2002

Box Office USA: $28.3M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 78

IMDB: 4.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Ben Cronin, as Madison Bell, as Amy Miller, as Carla Cronin, as Randy, as Josh, as Coach Simkins, as Detective John Zabel, Phyllis Somerville as Aunt Gretchen Christopher, as Christopher Dante, as Jake's Nurse

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene...

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) reteams with Tilda Swinton for this fresh, tricky...

Deadpool Movie Review

Deadpool Movie Review

Both the filmmakers and the characters on-screen are so pleased with themselves that this might...

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

Advertisement
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.