Review: ‘Bad Company’

Bad Company seemingly has no more noble ambition than to give audiences the interracial sex only hinted at in The Pelican Brief's chaste pairing of Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington. But with its uninvolving story, listless delivery and unsympathetic characters played by leads Laurence Fishburne and Ellen Barkin, would-be suspenser fails even on the erotic level.

Bad Company seemingly has no more noble ambition than to give audiences the interracial sex only hinted at in The Pelican Brief’s chaste pairing of Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington. But with its uninvolving story, listless delivery and unsympathetic characters played by leads Laurence Fishburne and Ellen Barkin, would-be suspenser fails even on the erotic level.

Story opens with ex-CIA troubleshooter Nelson Crowe (Fishburne) getting a new job at a company headed by Margaret Wells (Barkin) and Vic Grimes (Frank Langella). Couple’s shady firm specializes in using former government sleuths to do the dirty work of corporations and other private predators.

First assignment has Crowe and new partner Tod Stapp (Michael Beach) sent to bribe a gambling-addicted judge (Odgen Stiers). Crowe finds himself facing an even more covert job when Wells asks him to join her in offing Grimes and claiming the company as their own.

Soon after comes the revelation that, rather than being the free agent he seems, Crowe remains in thrall to the CIA, which wants him to conspire with Wells in order to toss the boutique spy outfit into the agency’s waiting hands.

Barkin and Fishburne do capable work in roles that require only one-note shrewishness from her, stolid taciturnity from him. Supporting performances are generally OK, with some welcome subtlety coming from Stiers and Beach.

Bad Company

Production

Touchstone. Director Damian Harris; Producer Amedeo Ursini, Jeffrey Chernov; Screenplay Ross Thomas; Camera Jack N. Green; Editor Stuart Pappe; Music Carter Burwell; Art Director Andrew McAlpine

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1995. Running time: 108 MIN.

With

Ellen Barkin
Laurence Fishburne
Frank Langella
Michael Beach
Gia Carides
David Odgen Stiers
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading