It would be nice to report that Original Sin, starring Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie as a man and a woman who luuuv only because they hate only because they luuuv, is a timeless and succulent howler in the dirty-damage tradition of ”Indecent Proposal” and the 1976 ”A Star Is Born.” The sorry truth, though, is that giggling at these perils-of-desire cliches has become a cliche in itself. Jolie, cast as some sort of Nietzschean femme fatale whose treachery is exceeded only by her neediness, ensures that those legendary lips are the least of the issue; in ”Original Sin,” her entire personality is bee-stung. As the Cuban coffee plantation magnate who makes her his mail-order bride, only to discover that she’s a traitor, a demon woman, a whore, Banderas smolders so obsessively that you could practically light a cigar off his forehead.

Adapted from the Cornell Woolrich novel ”Waltz Into Darkness,” ”Original Sin” is a textbook case of a movie that would have been better had it been worse. It’s somber and tasteful trash, and that’s exactly what’s wrong with it. The love scenes, of course, are supposed to be the audience bait, but this sort of limb-entwined, foot-extended-over-back ardor has been made irrelevant by the seamier writhings of late-night cable. ”Original Sin” violates a far more scandalous taboo: It bores the audience.

Original Sin
  • Movie
  • 116 minutes