Lady Jayne Killer

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“Unquestionably flawed but cheesily energetic fluff.”

Memo to self: don’t tell your wife the star of a film was in Playboy. Chris’s interest, already somewhat on thin ice, evaporated entirely, pretty much the moment I made that mistake, and I almost had to handcuff her to the bed to prevent a sudden trip to the supermarket. The concept here is kinda cool: Mom Emily (Eleniak) vs. anti-Mom Jayne (du Page). The latter is a hitwoman for the Mob, with 20 kills to her credit when she decides to abscond with a million in cash. She ends up hitching a ride beside Emily and her 16-year old son Kerry (Lelliot) on their way to San Antonio, with the former owners of the money in hot pursuit. And the cops. And the FBI. Then Kerry – when not fantasizing about Eleniak in the shower [cue Chris’s neo-departure!] – decides to solves Mom’s financial problems with thievery of his own.

I certainly don’t blame them for changing the title from the amazingly bland original – though suspect a colon got lost somewhere on route… And this is contrived: with a cellphone, and more than enough ready cash, Jayne could easily hire a limo – or even take a cab to San Antonio. So why use Emily – then hang around, even after their car breaks down? That sound you hear is the film whistling loudly and putting its fingers in its ears. And despite a strict and straight-laced parent, underage Kerry still sports a Superman tattoo on his arm. This kind of sloppy attention to production detail damages a film which is sometimes smarter than it may appear.

For instance, Emily’s line that her son is knows about every woman who has appeared in Playboy is nicely self-aware, given Eleniak’s familiarity with the staples therein. :-) But she stays dressed here, leaving the lingerie to Du Page, and Kerry’s interaction with the babe dropped into his life are amusing – hey, in his shoes and at his age, I’d be a gibbering fool too. The plot twists its way, albeit predictably, towards the final battle between Mom and anti-Mom. As a time-passer, I found it by no means awful: while it’d have been nice if Emily had snarled “Get away from him, you bitch,” when she found Jayne holding a gun to Kerry’s head, I guess you can’t have everything.

Dir: Mark L. Lester
Star: Erika Eleniak, Julie du Page, Jeremy Lelliot, James Remar
a.k.a. Betrayal

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