Twisted

"Terrible"

Twisted Review


Few cities on earth make for a better backdrop for murder mysteries than San Francisco. Its naturally spooky features - the fog-shrouded skyline, the damp city streets, and the massive bay - are all instant mood setters. It's the ultimate studio backlot. And yet, it amazes me that the thriller Twisted wastes all of the suspense and atmosphere that is so intrinsic in the San Francisco surroundings.

Ashley Judd plays newbie homicide detective Jessica Shepard, a former street beat cop whose quick rise in the department is due to her connections with the police commissioner John Mills (Samuel L. Jackson). When Shepard's parents were killed in a murder-suicide decades before, Mills (who was Shepard's father's former partner) became Shepard's surrogate father and mentor. She still struggles with the death of her family today and attends mandated counseling sessions with Dr. Melvin Frank (David Strathairn). Yet, despite the professional help, she drinks heavy doses of alcohol, sleeps with any man she finds at a bar, and fights with fellow detectives.

Shepard's promotion to homicide also coincides with a new series of murders targeting her ex-boyfriends, where the killer leaves cigarette-burn marks on the victims' hands. Each night, while she is passed out drunk in her apartment, a new grizzly murder is committed. The next morning, her partner Mike Delmarco (Andy Garcia), is there to pick her up and conduct the police work that she is too incapacitated to do herself. Shepard quickly becomes the suspect when she cannot account for her actions while the murders take place.

Unsure who he wants to take the fall, director Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff) makes everyone a suspect. Shepard could be the killer because she's messed up in the head and can't remember her comings and goings. Kaufman also suggests the killer could be Shepard's shrink Dr. Frank, because he knows all her secrets and can exploit them. Not to be left out is her cigarette-smoking partner Delmarco, who could be guilty because the murders do not occur until after she joins up with him! The substandard police work fails to engage, including the coroner's (Camryn Manheim) blood analysis.

One of the central problems with Twisted is that it's too one-dimensional to work as a murder mystery. The characters we're introduced to either become murdered, in the case of the ex-boyfriends, or they become suspects. By process of elimination, it's very easy to determine who the killer is, and when our predictions are confirmed, the film loses all suspense. The plot is manipulated from the very beginning to aid the conveniences that are needed to explain the killer's nonsensical motivations and the preposterous outcome.

The capable cast is so handicapped by the material that even they are unable to elevate this mess beyond the typical, standard police fare. You would also think that setting the film in San Francisco would at minimum give it an eerie feel, but we spend too much time in closed spaces to really see the bigger picture. Twisted is ultimately one of the least satisfying thrillers in years.

On DVD, some 15 minutes of deleted scenes back up a commentary track from Kaufman, plus three run-of-the-mill making-of featurettes.

That haircut? That cell phone? That TV tray? Now that's twisted.



Twisted

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th February 2004

Box Office USA: $25.0M

Budget: $140 thousand

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Starkid Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 1%
Fresh: 2 Rotten: 133

IMDB: 5.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Dylan Saunders as Ja'far, Rachel Soglin as Princess, Jeff Blim as Aladdin, Meredith Stepien as Sherrezade, Joseph Walker as Achmed, Nick Gage as Sultan / Djinn, Jim Povolo as Captain, Lauren Lopez as Monkey / Ensemble, Jaime Lyn Beatty as Sea Witch / Ensemble, Denise Donovan as Bird / Ensemble, Robert Monion as Ensemble, Alex Paul as Ensemble

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Advertisement
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

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.