By Owen Gleiberman
August 01, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

It would be nice to report that Original Sin, starring Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie as a man and a woman who luvvv only because they hate only because they luvvv, is a succulent and timeless howler in the damaged passion tradition of ”Indecent Proposal” and the 1976 ”A Star Is Born.” The forlorn truth, though, is that the impulse to giggle at these perils of desire clichés has become a cliché in itself.

Jolie, cast as some sort of Nietzchean femme fatale whose treachery is exceeded only by her neediness, makes her legendary lips the least of the issue; in ”Original Sin,” her entire personality is bee stung. As the Cuban coffee plantation magnate who makes Jolie his mail order bride, only to discover that she’s a traitor, a demon woman, a whore, Banderas smolders so relentlessly that you could practically light a cigar off his forehead.

”Original Sin” was adapted from the Cornell Woolrich novel ”Waltz Into Darkness,” and it’s a textbook case of a movie that would have been better had it been worse. It’s earnest and somber trash, and that’s exactly what’s wrong with it. The love scenes, of course, are the audience bait, but this sort of limb entwined, foot extended over back ardor has been made irrelevant by the far seamier writhings of late night cable. ”’Original Sin” aspires to blasphemy but achieves only banality.

  • Movie
  • R
  • 116 minutes
Complete Coverage