A suspense drama with none, “Ladykiller” fails to become the thriller it wants to be — the plot twists on thin ice, eventually crashing through the surface to the chilly water below.
This is not to say that “Ladykiller” isn’t marginally entertaining.
Tough cookie cop Mimi Rogers yearns for love and marriage, and enlists the services of an upscale video dating service. Smarmy but oh-so-rich-and-gorgeous John Shea shows up at her flat with roses and a proposition: he’s seen her tape and thinks she’s a real special gal.
Rogers’ reaction to his advances are at first believable–she greets him with a gun. But, like a ’70s story arc, she crumbles almost immediately into bed with the too-handsome stranger.
And then things don’t add up. Rogers suspects that an attractive woman’s suicide is really murder. She finds out that Shea is married with a child (big surprise there). Various clues and circumstantial evidence about past murders, as well as the “suicide,” point at Shea as the culprit. But is he?
Certain key points in the story are really muddy but audiences, unable to navigate the holes in the plot and unable to believe the police detectives’ incompetence and subversion of the law, will have the murderer figured out in the first half-hour.
They may stay tuned, though, because of the vidpic’s cheesy appeal, and to see if they’re correct in their guess of the killer.
The cast hits its stride midway through and Rogers’ burned-out cop is empathetic. Shea’s rather over-the-top adulterer suggests that the likable actor studied daytime soaps to get the part down.
Alice Krige, doing Amanda Plummer, is given an intentionally underwritten role as Shea’s long-suffering wife.
Tech credits are fine.