Picks and Pans Review: Boiling Point

updated 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Wesley Snipes, Lolita Davidovich, Valerie Perrine, Dennis Hopper

This film—curiously tame and chaste by modern action-movie standards—derives its minimal entertainment value from Snipes' considerable energy and his old-fashioned, Eastwoodian macho-star charisma.

He plays a Treasury Department agent out to avenge the murder of a colleague, who was working undercover in a Los Angeles counterfeiting operation. Hopper, as the main villain (and with his hair dyed red), seems on the soft side for a psycho who enjoys having his henchman, Viggo Mortensen, blast people with shotguns at close range. Davidovich is as good as she can be as one of those fantasy movie prostitutes who is essentially just a wayward sweetheart and has such lines as, "We are who we are. We gotta do what we gotta do." This pearl comes in a heart-to-heart talk with Snipes, who, divorced like all modern movie cops, is her boyfriend in a casual way.

The long-lost Perrine (last previous movie role: in an obscure Italian film called Reflections in a Dark Sky) makes a tiny comeback as Hopper's waitress girlfriend, although she is billed beneath character actor Mortensen.

Snipes' pursuit of Hopper un folds predictably. The only real mystery is why writer-director James Harris demeans Johnny Mercer's marvelous old romantic song "Dream" by using it as the background theme of this uninspired project. (R)

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