Lawrence O'Toole
November 22, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

Fires Within

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
86 minutes
performer
Greta Scacchi, Jimmy Smits, Vincent D'Onofrio
director
Gillian Armstrong
distributor
MGM
author
Cynthia Cidre
genre
Romance, Drama

We gave it a D

Fires Within‘s Greta Scacchi is in a pickle when husband Jimmy Smits, a political prisoner in Cuba for eight years, is released to Miami: She has been seeing the man who fished her out of a raft in the ocean as she escaped from Cuba, and he wants to marry her. Yet this potentially volatile premise becomes shockingly dull under melodramatic direction by Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career), who is overly fond of sepia flashbacks that slow down an already turgid tale.

The video is being packaged as a steamy love story, but it wouldn’t fog up a compact mirror, which just proves that a female director can make erotic scenes as banal as a male can. Fires Within is essentially a Harlequin romance with a political conscience. Don’t even expect smoke, much less sizzle. D

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