The Last Seduction
"One of the qualities of The Last Seduction is its denial of pastiche."

She doesn't say please. She doesn't say thank you. She walks into a bar in a nowhere pit stop and slaps herself down on a stool, demanding a Manhattan. The barman ignores her. In cow country unhitched broads are either for hire or running on empty.

"What's a girl gotta suck around here to get a drink?"

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Mike (Peter Berg) comes over, tells the beerjock to serve the lady and pays for it. She sits at a table and when he moves over to join her, she tells him to take a hike.

The lady's name is Bridget. She's travelling to Chicago, with a bag full of banknotes, stolen from her husband (Bill Pullman), who did a one-off drugs deal in New York. She's hot all right. Hot all over.

On the phone next day her attorney (J T Walsh) tells her, "Most fugitives are caught on the run." He advises a name change "and if you're staying on your own, don't."

John Dahl directed Red Rock West and Kill Me Again. Obviously film noir is a hobby of his, specialising in screenplays that are twisted like bomb damage. The writer, in this case, is greenhorn Steve Barancik, whose script cuts to the bone. He has created in Bridget a female protagonist of stupendous wickedness - single-tracked, amoral, flinty and fast.

Mike is the fall guy, more sensitive than most, once married for a week. She doesn't pick on him because she has plans. She's bored in a boring town, having to wait until it's safe to spend the money. She treats men as equals. In fact, she treats them as inferiors.

He accuses her of using him as a sex object. She doesn't deny it. She acts hot and cold.

"I'm not asking for love," he says.

"Wise man," she says.

She humiliates him and then seduces him.

This is not about a nymphomaniac and a country boy. It's about death, theft and commitment. Her husband is tracking her, while she's plotting to escape with the spoils. Mike becomes a tool in her scheme. His decency makes it easy for her.

"You want to live bigger?" she taunts him. "But there's nothing you'd kill for."

Exponents of this kind of movie take liberties with truth, allowing exaggeration to play along the surface of fear, creating images from the subconscious. Bridget may be a monster, but she's not Bette Davis on a bad day. One of the qualities of The Last Seduction is its denial of pastiche.

For all its bizarre sexual mannerisms, this is a thriller that succeeds admirably in what it sets out to do. The dialogue has a raw edge and Linda Fiorentino, as Bridget, tests the full range of her talents.

Reviewed on: 18 Oct 2001
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A tough, sexy New Yorker goes on the run with drugs money she stole from her husband.
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Director: John Dahl

Writer: Steve Barancik

Starring: Linda Fiorentino, Bill Pullman, Peter Berg, J T Walsh, Bill Nunn, Herb Mitchell, Dean Norris, Brien Varaday, Donna Wilson

Year: 1993

Runtime: 105 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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