Written by / 6/29/2011 / No comments / , , ,

THE HOT SPOT

title: THE HOT SPOT
year: 1990
cast: Don Johnson, Virginia Madsen, Jennifer Connelly, Jack Nance
rating: ***1/2

Night and shadows, the staple of Film Noir, is replaced with sun and sweat. And there's a whole lot of both here, and some fire for good measure. Don Johnson does a nice job in the quiet handsome stranger in a strange land role. He plays a subtle criminal, ultimately the pawn, who goes to a small town to stake out a bank. To remain inconspicuous, he gets a job in a car lot, meets his boss's snaky wife, played by Virginia Madsen, and reluctantly falls into her web. He'd rather be with the young, seemingly-innocent secretary played by Jennifer Connelly, enveloped in a rapturously chaste sexuality. But Madsen wants Don for herself... and will do anything to keep him. The deliberately slow pace is involving, although the final twist, as some people aren’t as innocent as they seem, isn’t very satisfying. But director Dennis Hopper keeps the melodrama sizzling throughout, and of all the players, Madsen stands out as the bored moll with a one-track mind for trouble.
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