“What Elle Driver did before joining DIVAS? Might explain why she hates The Bride…”
If I ever become an assassin, I will never utter the words “last” and “job” to anyone – it’s just begging for trouble. Hannah plays cold-hearted assassin CJ, who is supposed to recover 20 kilos of drugs stolen by Troy (Renfro), before he can sell them on. Only to do so, she must kill Emily (Swain), Troy’s heavily-pregnant girlfriend, and CJ’s qualms take over there, because she’s just discovered she too is expecting (a likely inevitable result of her fondness for casual sex with strangers). Angst, rebellion and an excruciating scene involving a hot bath and a coat-hanger follow, before a final showdown which had Chris snorting derisively about male scriptwriters and their wildly inaccurate concepts of childbirth. I’m not arguing: partly because Chris has been through pregnancy twice and I haven’t, and partly because even to me, the finale seemed pretty implausible.
I was expecting an action film, but CJ spends more time agonising over her state than shooting people. Meanwhile, Emily and Troy appear to be rehearsing for an appearance on Jerry Springer, and there’s an entirely unnecessary subplot where CJ and a former priest(!), played by Eric Mabius, have a unconvincing relationship. If the scripting leaves a lot to be desired – particularly at the end – both Hannah and Swain are convincing, and Alex Rocco is excellent as CJ’s boss Vernon, bringing a creepy power to his role; the other male cast members are largely left in the dust. Despite some shallow psychology (her mother was a prostitute, ergo CJ is all screwed up), there are interesting parallels between CJ and Emily, which could have been explored further. While the overall execution leaves a good bit to be desired, it’s not entirely without merit as a take on the usual ‘final mission’ cliches – especially if you think of it as a minor planetoid in the Kill Bill universe.
Dir: Kenny Golde
Star: Daryl Hannah, Brad Renfro, Dominique Swain, Eric Mabius