Thursday, February 28, 2013

JADE (1995) - William Friedkin

This past month, I've used William Friedkin's Jade as a punchline several times. It's a punchline to a joke I'd never heard in full until now. No doubt about it, Jade is definitely Weak Friedkin. It's also Weak Fiorentino, Weak Eszterhas, and Par-for-the-Course David Caruso. But those are postings for another blog, another time. We're talkin' Friedkin here. We're talkin' his stab at a mid-'90s sex thriller. We're talkin' Basic Instinct Lite.

With a Friedkin-Eszterhas collaboration, you get watered-down To Live and Die in L.A. car chases set in San Francisco, David Caruso's Crown Vic getting slowed to a standstill for minutes in a Chinatown parade. Instead of ice pick shenanigans, you get explicit photos of the CA Governor, hazy sex tapes with Linda Fiorentino, anonymous call girl pubes collected in silver cans. You get Chazz Palminteri in place of Jeanne Tripplehorn. You get diminishing returns, basically, Friedkin on auto-pilot.

Still, there are one or two things to enjoy about Jade. The scene where Angie Everhart becomes the victim of a brutal hit and run is a hoot. Granted, it's short-lived fun, but it is there. It's proof that Friedkin still has some '70s bad-boy mojo left in him. He would later re-claim it in the aughts with Bug and Killer Joe.

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