Jagged Edge (1985)

(On VHS, September 2000) This, according to my sources, received a warm critical reception upon release. Either those critics aren’t working any more, or my sources are wrong: While it’s a competently-made film with good acting and adequate direction, the script (by Joe Ezherhas, who would go on to make such trash classics as Basic Instinct and Showgirls) is disappointingly weak. Though the start of the film is solid (woman is killed; husband is suspected and accused), the rest of the story gets ludicrous (a female attorney accepts to defend the husband, only to fall in love with him in a matter of days) and then solidly predictable. You only have to ask yourself what would be most interesting dramatically, and presto it happens! The ending is, with fifteen year’s insight, one of the tritest things I’ve seen in a while, a stock-routine thriller conclusion that thinks itself clever but really isn’t.

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