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After Dark, My Sweet

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After Dark, My Sweet

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
114 minutes
performer:
Bruce Dern, Jason Patric, Rachel Ward
director:
James Foley
distributor:
Avenue Pictures Productions
author:
James Foley, Robert Redlin
genre:
Drama, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a C+

In this adaptation of Jim Thompson’s 1955 novella, the characters keep thrashing around on screen, as though something terribly important were going on. Jason Patric gives a good performance as Bill ”Kid” Collins, a volatile, childlike drifter who falls into the clutches of a couple of desperate schemers (Rachel Ward and Bruce Dern). The three launch a kidnapping that’s destined to fail, and Patric and Ward keep taunting each other. After Dark, My Sweet is cool and compelling for about 45 minutes, but it has a clinical, hothouse garishness that grows oppressive. What’s really weighing the movie down is the ghost of Thompson himself. The late pulp novelist has acquired such a hoity-toity reputation that his grimy little melodrama has become fodder for an existential art film. C+