Debut by Brit helmer Nick Mead is a one-joke movie, and the joke isn't especially funny. Theatrical prospects are dim, but undraping of Olivia D'Abo, Lisa Bonet and star Patrick Dempsey might give this title some life on video and cable. Nudity is pretty mild, but femme leads are exploitable names from television.

Debut by Brit helmer Nick Mead is a one-joke movie, and the joke isn’t especially funny. Theatrical prospects are dim, but undraping of Olivia D’Abo, Lisa Bonet and star Patrick Dempsey might give this title some life on video and cable. Nudity is pretty mild, but femme leads are exploitable names from television.

Script by Mead has to do with a bank robber (Dempsey) whose mask slips during a small-time holdup. A video camera catches a glimpse of his face and now everyone is looking for him. After Dempsey holes up at a seedy hotel, nearly everyone who comes into contact with him wants hush money for not revealing where he is. This includes the night clerks (with Michael Jeter utterly wasted in a nothing part) and various delivery people. Forest Whitaker and Judge Reinhold are incomprehensible as two philosophizing, pot-smoking cops trying to find him. Script never answers obvious question of why Dempsey doesn’t simply move to another hotel once he’s discovered.

The two women are his shallow girlfriend (D’Abo), who beds down with Dempsey’s friends after the holdup, and the cliched hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold (Bonet) who falls in love with him. Neither brings her two-dimensional character to life, and Dempsey’s not up to the burden of carrying the film on his own.

Tech credits are solid for a low-budget film that’s confined mostly to one set, and credit must go to cinematographer Andrzej Sekula and the art department for keeping the film visually interesting despite the emptiness of the plot and characters.

Bank Robber

Production

An IRS Releasing release of an IRS Media Inc. and Initial Groupe presentation. Produced by Lila Cazes. Executive producer, Jean Cazes, Paul Colichman, Miles Copeland III. Directed, written by Nick Mead.

Crew

Camera (Foto-kem color, Panavision), Andrzej Sekula; editors, Richard E. Westover, Maysie Hoy; music, Stewart Copeland; production design, Scott A. Chambliss; art direction, Bradley Wishan; set decoration, Karen Manthey; costume design, Dana Allyson; sound, (Ultra-Stereo) Chuck Buch; assistant director, James B. Rogers; second unit camera, Alan Sherrod; casting, Donald Paul Pemrick. Reviewed at Loews Copley Place, Boston, Sept. 10, 1993. (In Boston Film Festival.) Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Billy - Patrick Dempsey
Priscilla - Lisa Bonet
Officer Gross - Judge Reinhold
Officer Battle - Forest Whitaker
Selina - Olivia D'Abo
Marisa Benoit - Mariska Hargitay
Night Clerk 1 - Michael Jeter
Night Clerk 2 - Joe Alaskey
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