By Michael Sauter
January 15, 1993 at 05:00 AM EST

When onetime rising stars start showing up in straight-to-video movies, they?re doing the opposite of rising, and fast. Take former TV Sleuth Pierce Brosnan (star of the five-year detective series Remington Steele), once braced to be the next James Bond. In Live Wire, he?s just an FBI bomb expert protecting a senator (Ron Silver) from terrorist assassins. Our hero squeezes in one romantic bathtub interlude, though he mostly sticks to crude but effective thriller-plot mechanics, which is more than Timothy Hutton gets to do as star in one of the three erotic vignettes of the pretentious Strangers. Playing an accidental voyeur who falls in love from afar in Paris, Hutton still manages to maintain his dignity. But really, video purgatory is no place for an Oscar winner — nor a 007 hopeful. Live Wire: B- Strangers: C-