Home Movies Movie Reviews

Final Analysis

It takes guts for Richard Gere and Kim Basinger to reunite for this opulently produced thriller. Maybe they figure audiences will forget their 1986 cop-and-babe-on-the-bayou debacle No Mercy. Not bloody likely, especially since they fare even worse in this shrink-and-babe-on-the-Golden Gate stinkeroo. It’s not that the two stars don’t look terrific. Playing San Francisco psychiatrist Isaac Barr, Gere does wonders for his Giorgio Armani wardrobe. And as Heather Evans – the sister of Dr. Bait’s sexually neurotic patient Diana Baylor (Uma Thurman) – Basinger slips in and out of her swank costumes with the skill of a runway model. It’s a pity the same care wasn’t lavished on their performances. Both actors have been impressive before – Gere as recently as Internal Affairs and Basinger further back in Nadine – but together they generate the heat of a fashion layout. Emotions slide off of them. When Basinger makes her back-lit entrance, all you see is her hair, a splendiferous blond special effect that receives the awed attention of the mother ship’s landing in Spielberg’s Close Encounters.

The film also represents a low point for writer Wesley Strick (Cape Fear) and director Phil Joanou (State of Grace), whose previous work has been marked by fierce intelligence. Final Analysis is a cheap gloss on Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Vertigo, in which Jimmy Stewart’s obsession with the unattainable Kim Novak calls into question the nature of illusion and reality. Dr. Barr attains Heather in a snap, despite her jealous gangster husband, Jimmy (a creepy Eric Roberts). There are gimmicks galore: incest, betrayal, murder and my favorite, pathological intoxication. Heather suffers from it – one sip of alcohol, even in medicine, and she’s out of control. Final Analysis suffers from something much worse: terminal shallowness.


Powered by