Picks and Pans Review: Blue Steel

updated 03/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Jamie Lee Curtis, Ron Silver

Watching this film is like watching two people you really like get off to a great start in a boat race then develop a leak and gradually sink out of sight. Glub, glub. Curtis is crisp and tough enough as a rookie New York City cop; Silver (Enemies, A Love Story) is convincingly schizophrenic as a rich commodities broker who develops an obsession with Curtis after he sees her kill a stickup man during a robbery that takes place on her first day on the job. So far, so creepy.

As the plot should be progressing, though, it is degenerating into a sort of cross between The Terminator and The Dating Game. The phrase "killer romance" is applicable throughout. The story's romantic orientation soon gives way to a blast-away treatment (Silver carves Curtis's name in each bullet he uses to slay his victims), and from there, things rapidly move from the implausible to the idiotically ludicrous.

Curtis frets and bristles in winsome fashion, Silver seems to enjoy the variation from the usual uptight characters he plays, and Clancy (Extreme Prejudice) Brown shows some subtlety as a veteran cop who starts out scoffing at Curtis and ends up cozying up to her.

There are enough false endings to suggest a Friday the 13th slash-out, and the film's early tension dissolves in a vat of foolishness. At least director Kathryn (Near Dark) Bigelow proves that no matter what The Handmaid's Tale implies, women are good for more than making babies; they can make superviolent, dopey psycho-killer movies too. (R)

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