Dir: John Curran
Star: Robert De Niro, Milla Jovovich, Edward Norton, Frances Conroy

I suspect Chris Tivo’d this as a cautionary tale, to remind me about the dangers of having sex with Milla Jovovich. Y’know, just in case such a possibility should ever cross my path, a reminder that Bad Things Will Happen, and not just involving my testicles + a rusty bread-knife. Prison worker Jack (De Niro) is ripe for a midlife crisis after losing his brother. It arrives in the form of Stone (Norton), an inmate Jack is interviewing to find whether he is suitable for parole - or, more accurately, in the form of Stone’s wife, Lucetta (Jovovich), who campaigns for her husband’s release, by any means necessary, shall we say. She pulls Jack away from his religious-minded wife (Conroy), even as he knows the wrongness of what he is doing, and is plagued by the guilt which results. So is this just a scheme cooked up by her and Stone? Is the latter’s apparent new-found interest in religion also part of the scam, to get his early release?

I’m still undecided over the rating, and have changed it three times since I started writing the review. On the one hand, it seems to be setting itself up as a twisty thriller, then never delivers on this aspect, preferring to be a character study [and, yes, a moral fable on the dangers of having sex with Milla Jovovich]. This is by no means uninteresting, with good performances from the three leads. Norton is great as a scumball, even if it’s never quite clear why someone like Lucetta would give him the time of day. There’s an underlying current of violence, which seems to be building toward...something, especially after Stone witnesses the gruesome stabbing of one of his inmates in the infirmary. However, the film doesn’t deliver, with an ending that leaves a little too much up to the audience. However, it remains an interesting ride to get us there. And, yes, I am thoroughly convinced of the perils in having carnal knowledge of Ms. Jovovich.

[July 2011]

Banging this man’s wife:
what could possibly go wrong?
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