A review of “Twisted” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: *

Rating: R for nudity, language, violence

Run Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

 

 

Ashley Judd has fashioned a career of playing tough-as-nails under a soft and sexy exterior (Kiss the Girls, Double Jeopardy), and thus far it’s worked wonders for her.  All good things must come to an end.

Judd is knockout San Francisco Homicide Inspector Jessica Shepard, newly promoted and itching to prove herself.  Unfortunately, little Ms. Perfect has a past, involving a homicidal detective father who went ballistic and murdered Jessica’s mom before turning the gun on himself.

So Jessica is a good girl born of bad people, a bad seed if you will. Her more recent past catches up to her when a series of hunky men she has bedded get very dead. What’s a girl to do?

Hints float to the surface of the fragile narrative: Jessica cradling a bottle and blacking out the night before each murder.  Jessica with a sense of being watched.  Jessica slowly coming unglued before the eyes of precinct shrink Melvin Frank (David Strathairn).

Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia are along for the ride, as mentor and partner, respectively.  They’re also Numero Uno on the short list of suspects for anyone with half a brain, or who has endured even a handful of cop thrillers.

Twisted is ubiquitous San Francisco-based cinema; lovingly caressing each and every glorious view of the bridge and the bay and the loop-de-loo boulevards. Judd looks terrific; and still packs a wallop in the tough-gal department.  But she and her A-list cast can’t rise above the hackneyed and clichéd dialogue and conventional climax.  Mark Isham’s gloomy score overrides the action, spelling impending doom where there is very little.