Picks and Pans Review: Gotcha!

updated 05/20/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/20/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Crazy for You, Madonna's Top 10 hit, wasn't the best thing to come out of Vision Quest. That distinction belongs to Linda Fiorentino. Bold, spiny and flushed with a screw-you-buster sexuality that evokes Debra Winger and Barbara Stanwyck without mimicking those ladies, Fiorentino has a mesmerizing, original presence. But with Gotcha! she has encountered the same second-film jinx Rebecca (The Slugger's Wife) De Mornay met with this season. Equally influenced by the Hardy Boys, Alfred Hitchcock and Risky Business, Gotcha! poses as a spy adventure. Its focus is college kid Anthony Edwards, whose campus espionage games are only an audition for the real thing when he takes a summer trip to Europe. There he meets Fiorentino, a Mata Hari with the severe look of a young Geneviève Bujold. After giving Edwards his sexual initiation, Fiorentino continues with a course in secret agentry, using the man-child as her unwitting courier in East Germany. Edwards, going through a kind of gullible's travels, gets to endure an emotional rite of passage into manhood. Wonderfully wry as the libidinous best friend in The Sure Thing. Edwards is ingratiating, yet not idiosyncratic enough to flesh out this TV-slick script. Director Jeff (Revenge of the Nerds) Kanew displays his single imaginative flourish in a sight gag in which speeded-up film makes a cab ride through Paris look like a slalom race. This material might have worked if, say, the late German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder had reshaped it into a perverse comedy. As it is, Fiorentino, with the stark look and implacable demeanor of a Fassbinder heroine, ought to be put to more imaginative use than this. (PG-13)

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