Review: “Twisted”

Like Meg Ryan is to romantic comedy, Ashley Judd has become the signature girl star of the murder mystery thriller genre. Like Ryan as well, as the years go by she’s finding herself being diluted into weaker and weaker roles. “Kiss the Girls” remains even today a great thriller that’s slickly shot and Judd’s most interesting performance to date.

Then came “Double Jeopardy” which was a little tired and cliched, but nonetheless a decent little movie on its own. “High Crimes” was a waste essentially but at least kept its story credible for the most part. Now comes “Twisted,” easily the worst of the bunch despite Judd’s character being quite distinct and different to her previous roles.

In order to keep the dark flashiness going and the bodies falling, the script takes not only leaps of logic but stupidity as well. When our heroinne drinks wine and then seconds later begins to stumble around in a stupor and undergo a blackout, the next day she wakes up and doesn’t suspect she might have been drugged – even though from early on she kind of figures someone may be framing her. A silly mistake like that one could let pass, trouble is she repeats the mistake THREE more times and still hasn’t a clue until it’s blindly spelled out to her at the end.

The tough as nails character has an interesting bluntness and lust for casual sex, rarely seen in female characters – especially in such stock thrillers as this. Veteran director Philip Kaufman manages to make San Francisco an interesting and varied environment of dark alleys and cold night shores whilst its police department comes off a s a bunch of psychos and misogynists – hardly a flattering portrayal.

The score from Mark Isham also adds a nicely sppoky touch. Still, their touch can’t raise the lumbered screenplay filled with all too plainly spelled out turns and silly twists which are either projected far too early on, or so far from left field so as to lose all credibility. Supporting talent like Garcia and Jackson can’t raise this above the painfully bad.