Video Review

Malice

MPAA Rating: R

Details Movie Rated: R; Genres: Drama, Mystery and Thriller; With: Alec Baldwin, Nicole Kidman and Bill Pullman

The key film in Alec Baldwin's antihero oeuvre is Harold Becker's Malice, a vastly entertaining hunk of bologna that asks the audience to believe (warning: I'm revealing plot here, so skip to the next paragraph if you want to rent the movie) that the demure young wife (Nicole Kidman) of a tweedy college dean (Bill Pullman) is actually a heartless con woman who arranges to have her own ovaries surgically removed by her physician lover (Baldwin) in a complex insurance scam.

Dumb, you bet, but Malice gets by on its woozy dialogue and the skill of its three stars. Baldwin, particularly, is a wonderful figure of bullying, priapic arrogance as Dr. Jed Hill, a figure stranded somewhere between Double Indemnity and Nietzsche. ''You ask me if I have a God complex?'' Hill spits out during a malpractice hearing. ''Let me tell you something. I am God.'' B

Originally posted Mar 21, 2008 Published in issue #336 Jul 19, 1996 Order article reprints
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