The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion (2001)

(On DVD, December 2002) Now here’s a good film destroyed by inappropriate casting. Hubris, even, as the miscasting in question is writer/director Woody Allen giving the protagonist role to himself. Awful choice, especially where we’re to believe that he’s lusted after by none other than, oh, Elizabeth Berkley, Kaili Vernoff and the divine Helen Hunt. Yikes. What, Bruce Campbell wasn’t available? In any case, if you close your eyes and manage to convince yourself that this isn’t Woody Allen they’re lusting after, the film isn’t too bad: The atmosphere successfully evokes the war-years period, and so does the witty dialogue between Hunt and Allen. Yes, the whole hypnotism shtick is profoundly silly, but never mind that: it’s all in good fun. In the end, this sense of fun (oh, and the girls; I’m that shallow) is what sort of saves The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion from total failure. But I can’t wait until we’ve got the technology to replace Allen out of this picture…

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