The Last Seduction (1994)

The Last Seduction, John Dahl. It’s Linda Fiorentino’s world, we only live in it. The hot chick from the first Men in Black flick takes on the role she was born to play (maybe that’s why she hasn’t worked much since). Sexy, mean, with a rangy body that she uses like a weapon, Fiorentino is the embodiment of the femme fatale in Dahl’s update of classic noir. She double-crosses her doctor husband (Bill Pullman, excellent as always) after he sells pharmaceutical cocaine to street thugs—then beats it upstate with the bag of cash. Hiding out in Hicksville proves dull so she takes on a local stud as a boy toy while husband sends a private dick to find her. Eventually all the men become her puppets. The film doesn’t pull many punches: at one point she uses overt racism to take out a human obstacle (“Is it true what they say about black guys?” she asks to get him out of his seat belt); the violence is off-screen but in your head, psychic and cruel. If it were in black and white, it could come straight from the early 1950s: Dahl’s color vision of (fairly recent) modern living updates the hard-bitten soul of noir without sacrificing any style.

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