Philippe Bosse
Scott Brown
April 18, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Slow Burn (Movie - 2006)

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
Wide Release Date
04/13/07
performer
Ray Liotta, LL Cool J, Jolene Blalock, Mekhi Phifer
director
Wayne Beach
distributor
Lions Gate Films
author
Wayne Beach
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Drama

We gave it a C+

A strange, sprained, but sprightly fusion of The Usual Suspects and the Tragic Mulatto, Slow Burn wants badly to turn its standard neo-noir into a nuanced racial chiaroscuro. A big-shot district attorney (Ray Liotta) is closing in on a shadowy inner-city crime lord, but his biracial star prosecutor (Star Trek: Enterprise‘s Jolene Blalock) may be dirty. While the twists arrive with deadening regularity, the only mystery writer-director Wayne Beach really fixates on is his femme fatale’s racial profile — first it’s fetishized, then lazily equated with treachery, and finally reduced to a mere ”trick of light.”

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