Slow Burn (2007) 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… 2007-04-13 R Drama Mystery and Thriller Ray Liotta LL Cool J Jolene Blalock Mekhi Phifer Lions Gate Films
Movie Review

Slow Burn (2007)

MPAA Rating: R
NOT SO BUBBLY James Todd Smith (a.k.a. LL Cool J) and Mekhi Phifer in the flat neo-noir Slow Burn
Image credit: Philippe Bosse
NOT SO BUBBLY James Todd Smith (a.k.a. LL Cool J) and Mekhi Phifer in the flat neo-noir Slow Burn
EW's GRADE
C+

Details Release Date: Apr 13, 2007; Rated: R; Genres: Drama, Mystery and Thriller; With: Ray Liotta and LL Cool J; Distributor: Lions Gate Films

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.''

Originally posted Apr 18, 2007 Published in issue #931-932 Apr 27, 2007 Order article reprints