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Monday, 5 December 2016

Retro Review: Final Analysis (1992)

Final Analysis
Cast: Richard Gere, Kim Basinger, Uma Thurman, Eric Roberts, Keith David 
Genre: Neo-Noir Drama
U.S Box Office Gross: over $28 million 

Plot: Isacc Barr is a psychologist treating Diana Baylor, but when he talks with her sister, Heather about their troubled childhood, he finds his attentions shifting away from his patient. Heather comes on to him, leading to a secret affair that is complicated by Heather's pathologically jealous gangster husband, Jimmy. But the complications don't end there, as Heather may or may not need some serious psychological help herself

'Overlong, Dreary & Lacklustre Effort That Didn't Thrill Me' 

Hot on the heels of Basic Instinct, Final Analysis, starring Richard Gere and Kim Basinger was released in the same year as the Paul Verhoeven erotic thriller. The success of Basic Instinct led to a spate of wannabe and copycat erotic thrillers flooding the market, both commercially and on the straight-to-video, adult entertainment sector. Gere and Basinger reunited in this offering, after the unimpressive No Mercy. I don't usually care for Richard Gere's movies (and that includes Pretty Woman), but I thought this one would be an exception to this case, and so I did check this one out, as it had a fairly similar premise to Basic Instinct. And with the latter, it has twists, turns, suspense and sexual tension. Although the sex scene in this film isn't as overly explicit as the ones in, well, Basic Instinct. & I say 'well', because, in contrast to many other people I was actually disappointed and let down slightly by Basic Instinct as the tension, intrigue and suspense fell flat and didn't make much of an impression on me.

So how does Final Analysis fare? To be truthful, not very well; this is one overlong, lazy bore fest of a psychological erotic thriller where a psychiatrist gets embroiled in a relationship with the sister of a patient he is seeing. That sister is also married to a nasty and sinister criminal, Jimmy (Eric Roberts), who has a very unpredictable nature and has a tendency to lash out, when possible.  

Some may call it a second-rate Basic Instinct knock-off; the difference here is that Richard Gere's character is a psychiatrist, as opposed to a detective. The film doesn't feel like a standard thriller that I've seen and unlike Basic Instinct, the film moves at a snail's pace, the dialogue is slow, so slow in fact it made me sleepy and it has a very B-movie, straight-to-DVD feel to it with characters feeling more like stock characters. It didn't thrill or excite me. 

Also, some psychiatrists were rather offended by Dr Isacc Barr's antics and lack of ethics - I was more offended, well actually taken aback at how lacklustre and unexciting this film was. It was so uninspiring. For almost 2 long whole hours - a long hard slog of a film - for the most part, it felt like filler material that felt like it was going on forever and without merit. I didn't find it watchable, as I pretty much zoned out whenever there was an exceedingly boring scene or there was boring dialogue being uttered, and so I didn't really care what the characters were doing, saying, nor understand why. The acting wasn't anything spectacular. All I was seeing was that this didn't feel like a Hollywood movie, but a forgettable B-movie/TV movie; the likes you'd see on those miscellaneous cable TV channels - the only difference being it is produced on a bigger budget.  

Richard Gere does give an understated performance, but neither he or Kim Basinger can salvage this tedious effort, despite their erotic sex scene. When I watch Richard Gere in other movies, for the exception of Internal Affairs, he doesn't look to me as a convincing leading man in thrillers, but he only comes across as the lead guy in romantic comedies (which again leads me back to why I'm not a fan of his movies, because of those films). Eric Roberts's character meanwhile is so one-dimensional, as much as Roberts himself, tries to do something with that character, performance-wise. 

Final Analysis is a semi-erotic noir thriller -like film, so far-fetched in its ambitions yet stripped bare of imagination, excitement, intrigue, suspense and every other essential element found in these types of films and is replaced by tepid and unimpressive acting performances, dialogue, slow-paced scenes and a quality that reeks of straight-to-DVD fare. It may have a couple of plot twists, but each one of them get more and more ridiculous as the film progresses. 

This is a noir semi-erotic thriller that is pedestrian in its direction one is left with a film that despite the thriller moniker, it is actually underwhelming. Despite it picking up during the last 15 or so mins towards the end, and that last 15 mins was better than the rest of the film leading up to that moment, to which time it was too late. 

Final Verdict:

Under a different director, a better lead actor and with better writing, Final Analysis would've warranted a place alongside Fatal Attraction, Body Heat and Jagged Edge, but instead my Final Analysis of this film (see what I did there) is that it is one overdrawn, mind-numbingly dreary bore fest of a thriller that didn't thrill that much, or be it at all. 

This Hitchcock-like thriller is anything but Hitchcock- like in the suspense ranks, as it lacks that element as well. Lacking any real urgency, that after Eric Roberts's character gets killed off, the film then gets bogged down extremely quickly that by the end of it, I didn't care for it. It tries to recapture that 1940s feel within a contemporary setting, but to no avail. 

Final Analysis is a forgettable and drab affair that I won't be revisiting. 


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