The Rook

on March 19, 1999 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
   Why Strand has decided to dust off and release this 1994 gobbler is a mystery. A tepid alternate-world science fiction scenario has a dull, hangdog detective ("The Opposite of Sex's" Martin Donovan) investigating the killing of a female linguistics professor. Not surprisingly, sex and political machinations figure prominently in the revelations stemming from his investigation, but the only distinctive element in this boring, lackadaisical film is the setting, which messily mixes the medieval and the modern. Alchemy co-exists with computers, ancient evils alongside allegations of lesbianism. None of it makes for interesting viewing and even the unique set design, including vaguely futuristic costumes that nevertheless smack of Elizabethan excess, is tedious.    Starring Martin Donovan and John A. Mackay. Directed by Eric Palatnik. Written by Richard Lee Purvis. Produced by Alan Abrams and Eric Palatnik. A Phaedra release. Science fiction/drama. Running time: 85 min.
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