Anyway, Paul Newman plays an aging ex-cop who moonlighted as a PI until he was sent to Mexico to catch his friend Max's daughter Mel (Reese Witherspoon), who had run off with a loser. She accidentally shoots him, but he brings her back. Two years later, we meet Newman again. He's living above the garage of his friend, the ex-movie star Jack (Gene Hackman) and his seductive wife Catherine (Susan Sarandon). Hackman sends Newman to deliver some blackmail money, and he gets involved in a murder, which brings his ex-partner and ex-lover Verna (Stockard Channing) into the picture. Also involved is Ray (James Garner), another ex-cop who had worked security for the movie studios back when Sarandon's first husband mysteriously disappeared, conveniently allowing Hackman and Sarandon to get married. Turns out the murdered man (not the first husband, but the murder I discussed a few sentences ago) was another ex-cop (how many of them are there anyway?) who was still investigating the disappearance from twenty years before. Further mayhem ensues.
So, the plot doesn't offer much in the way of real surprises, despite its ludicrous twists and turns. Probably because we've seen them in other movies. The interesting thing about this film is that it is among the only ones I know of that involve the over-40 crowd as the main characters. Sarandon makes as good a femme fatale as anyone half her age, and Newman has resigned cool down to a science. Hackman and Garner don't have much to do, nor does Channing. Overall, this was a writing exercise (how many plot twists can you fit into a 94 minute movie) saved by two good performances.
Cinematographer Piotr Sobocinski, who shot this film, also shot "Trois Coleurs: Rouge" (aka Red), which is among the most beautifully shot movies I have ever seen. He died this past March at the age of 43, and the art of film will certainly miss him.
What do you think of Twilight
Share your opinions on our forum