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True Crime

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: True Crime

Starring: Kevin Dillon, Alicia Silverstone
Director: Pat Verducci
Rated: R
RunTime: 94 Minutes
Release Date: January 1995
Genres: Mystery, Suspense

Review by Dragan Antulov
2 stars out of 4

Young American actress Alicia Silverstone might be criticised for many things but not for the unwillingness to diversify her roles and projects in which she is to be involved. The proof for that might come in TRUE CRIME, relatively obscure 1995 mystery thriller, made in time when Silverstone used to be one of the hottest new things in Hollywood.

The heroine of this film is Mary Giordano (played by Alicia Silverstone), exemplary catholic high student with somewhat unusual ambitions - she wants to follow dead father's footsteps and become police detective. However, until she becomes old enough to join police she has to satisfy her desire by consuming true crime stories and books about police procedure. When teenage girls in her small Californian town start becoming a prey for vicious serial killer, Mary decides to use her newly acquired knowledge to start her own investigation, which frustrates her mentor and late father's friend - Detective Jerry Guinn (played by Bill Nunn). Mary soon finds out that she is not the only amateur detective around - young police cadet Tony Campbell (played by Kevin Dillon) also wants to find a killer. Two of them team up and as their investigation starts to bring some results, Mary becomes aware of feelings she has for young police cadet.

This first (and last) film by screenwriter and director Pat Verducci might look a strange genre combination of teen romance and serial killer movie, but in reality it is surprisingly dark and depressing drama that uses bizarre story and characters as a metaphor for the loss of innocence. Unlike almost any other Hollywood film that has teenagers as amateur detectives (with an exception of Lynch's BLUE VELVET), this film shows how young mind's desire to satisfy natural curiosity might bring some rather unpleasant consequences. Unusual tone of the film is matched by the unusual choice of role for Alicia Silverstone. Her character is nerdy and unglamorous, so far away from sexy MTV images, and suspension is disbelief is complete - despite the outrageousness of the story, viewers have an impression that they watch real people and witness events that actually might take place. Unfortunately, that suspension of disbelief crumbles in the finale of the film, burdened with predictability of Hollywood cliches and few totally unnecessary and distracting scenes. This is a real shame, because TRUE CRIME, although still more than watchable film, had clear potential for being much more.

Copyright 2001 Dragan Antulov

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