on October 04, 1996 by Susan Lambert
Lesbian love story or mob heist flick? The dynamic screenwriting duo known as the Wachowski brothers ("Assassins," "Unforgettable") have put a female twist on the old "steal-the-mobster's-girl-and-money" story for their debut directorial effort and come up with a fairly winning combination.
Gina Gershon ("Showgirls") plays the perfect combination of sexy and tough as the ex-con girl-next-door, Corky. She meets her mate in Violet ("Bullets Over Broadway's" Jennifer Tilly), the seemingly simple-minded seductress and gangster girlfriend of a Mafia money launderer, Caesar ("Baby's Day Out's" Joe Pantoliano). Soon the two lovely ladies are in bed and in love and looking for a way to steal a freshly laundered $2 mil. before riding off into the sunset together. Despite the lesbian overtones, this is a completely conventional genre thriller played out with incredible style and wit. All that flashy technique calls to mind the other overly stylized bro & bro filmmaking team, but unlike the Coens the Wachowskis tend toward oversimplification. The script is written so straight (excuse the pun) forwardly that Corky's character could just as easily be a guy and the movie would be almost unchanged. Thankfully, Tilly and Gershon are fabulous together. Sexy and engaging, the two have a chemistry that's exhilaratingly fun. But it's Pantoliano who steals the show as the neurotic, mid-level mobster desperately trying to save his skin. Starring Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon and Joe Pantoliano. Directed and written by Larry and Andy Wachowski. Produced by Andrew Lazar and Stuart Boros. A Gramercy release. Thriller. Rated R for strong sexuality, violence and language. Running time: 111 min. Opens 10/4 on about 500 screens
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