Picks and Pans Review: The Squeeze

updated 07/27/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/27/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

It's hot and sticky and what you want mainly is to go somewhere air-conditioned. You don't want to chase all over town looking for a revival of Persona. Here you go. This comedy-mystery is no classic, and it has what seems like a dozen scenes of people racing up and down stairs. But it's fast and disracting. Michael Keaton is a Manhattan sculptor who is working on a life-size stegosaurus-triceratops decorated with TV sets. Rae Dawn Chong wants to give Keaton a summons for avoiding alimony payments. They get themselves into a little romance and a lot of trouble when Keaton runs an errand for his ex-wife that leaves him with a corpse and a strange gadget on his hands. Director Roger Young, best known for his TV movies (Bitter Harvest, Love Among Thieves), and first-time screenwriter Daniel Taplitz leave too many straight lines dangling. They set a snappy pace though. Keaton, toned down from his often frenetic style, nicely complements Chong, who is gorgeous enough to compensate for her stilted way with a joke. Rock singer Meat Loaf throws himself into his role as a brutish villain, which is some throw, and Liane Langland, as Keaton's ex, makes a big impression in a small part. Even that Hollywood Square John Davidson earns a laugh as a smarmy TV-lottery-show host. There's an unfortunate coincidence: A running gag about TV's Bonanza is like the one in last spring's Tin Men. Not to fret. This is the kind of movie good for a chuckle or two, not an exercise in deep thinking. (PG-13)

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