Romance develops between a cop and a hustler in the oddball drama "In the Flesh," a low-budgeter that holds attention without risking plausibility. Tyro writer-helmer Ben Taylor (who went abroad to pen several German features, including '95 hit "Talk of the Town") strikes an offbeat note by downplaying rote thriller elements in favor of story's central relationship --- but that's much hampered by a sketchy, sometimes unintentionally funny screenplay and poorly developed subplots. Marginal as theatrical fare, pic will fare best as a niche rental item.
Romance develops between a cop and a hustler in the oddball drama “In the Flesh,” a low-budgeter that holds attention without risking plausibility. Tyro writer-helmer Ben Taylor (who went abroad to pen several German features, including ’95 hit “Talk of the Town”) strikes an offbeat note by downplaying rote thriller elements in favor of story’s central relationship — but that’s much hampered by a sketchy, sometimes unintentionally funny screenplay and poorly developed subplots. Marginal as theatrical fare, pic will fare best as a niche rental item.
Cocky, body-sculpted Olivier (Ryan Philippe ringer Dane Ritter) is a student who turns tricks at a hustler bar where hunky detective Philip (Ed Corbin) is assigned to investigate a possible drug ring. The two have already had a tryst when Olivier witnesses a murder; improbably, Philip goes out on a career limb to offer him a fake alibi, even letting the kid move into his apartment. There, they wrestle with issues of trust and commitment. Aside from Corbin, whose wide-eyed, granite-jawed cop is a bit much, perfs are decent; pacing ditto, though routine direction doesn’t eke much atmosphere from Atlanta locations. Tech work is adequate.
In the Flesh
A Cape Town Films presentation. Produced by Julie R. Lee. Executive producers , Joe Ansley, Ben Taylor. Directed, written by Ben Taylor. Camera (color), Brian Gurley; editor, Basil Dripps; music, Eddie Horst; production designer, Kevin Pierce. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, June 18, 1999. Running time: 104 MIN.
With: Dane Ritter, Ed Corbin, Adele Phares, Philip Solomon, Adrian Roberts, Brandon O'Dell.
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