THE LAST SEDUCTION

I Loved This Movie….Linda Fiorentino plays Bridget, the ultimate (BOY BEATER) a “femme fatale” who steals her husband’s money and splits from New York. She meets Mike, who falls in love with her and they become lovers. But Mike has no idea about Bridget’s past and her plans to use him to get rid of her husband. Bridget delves into Mike’s past and she finds out the he was married briefly to a transsexual. Bridget then uses this information and manipulates Mike and sends him into a blind sexual rage, a rage that that gets recorded on a 911 call to the police. The men in Bridget’s life either end up dead or in jail. Linda Fiorentino dominates the guys from the beginning of this movie till the very last frame. She Rocks! The Last Seduction indeed….. I give this movie 5*****Stars.

A stunningly evil and relentless thriller, The Last Seduction twists and turns to a breathtaking conclusion, never once pandering to sentiment. Shadowed by one of the soaring bridges of New York City, Clay Gregory (Bill Pullman) endures a tense meeting with a couple of toughs. In exchange for a suitcase filled with medical-grade cocaine they hand over $700,000, in laundered cash, but not before having a little fun scaring him. Back at their apartment his wife Bridget (Linda Fiorentino) waits eagerly, having rushed home from her stressful tele-sales manager job. She’s pretty pleased when he walks through the door, shirt bulging with wads of bank notes. However, he lashes out when she mentions that it was pretty stupid to walk the streets carrying their bonus like that. A bit of money seems to smooth matters but, while Clay is taking a well-earned shower, Linda decides to take the loot and run. By the time Clay realises, Linda is long gone and on her way to Chicago.

It’s many miles to Chicago though so Linda stops off in Beston, a typical hick town full of country-farmer types. In Beston’s only bar Linda manages to obtain a drink, with the help of local boy Mike Swale (Peter Berg), for which she gives no thanks. Mike’s just got back from an unhappy experience in Buffalo, though he’s eager to leave Beston and likes the look of Linda (her looks, manner and behaviour sure stand out). Pretty soon they’re back at his place for a one-night stand, since she’s got no wish to stay longer than absolutely necessary in such a backward hole. However, her lawyer Frank Griffith (J.T. Walsh) suggests stopping, if she wants to evade Clay. A temporary post is easy to come by, as is a motel room, although Linda gets quite a shock when she discovers that Mike works for the same company. Since she’s now using an assumed name, Wendy Kroy, Linda doesn’t want Mike messing up her corporate image. With this settled Mike is, at least initially, content to be nothing more than a sex-object.

Meanwhile Clay is eager to track down Linda, since he’s got a very persuasive loan-shark visiting weekly and he feels somewhat aggrieved by the behaviour of Linda. With the help of a private detective, Harlan (Bill Nunn), and the intuition gained from having lived with her, Clay manages to determine which section of rural America Linda has washed up in. While Harlan gets sent to Beston on a funds-retrieval mission, Mike starts to become disillusioned in his relationship with Linda. She basically wants sex while he needs a friend, objectives which were bound to clash sooner or later. The amazing thing is that Linda has Mike wrapped around her finger, able to manipulate him into doing almost anything. Unfortunately that ‘almost’ doesn’t include murder.

A modern addition to the femme fatale tradition, The Last Seduction gives Linda free rein to manipulate with abandon then ends with a punch designed to leave you reeling. As the central mastermind, Linda is intelligent, calm, ruthless and lacking any qualms whatsoever. Placed against the naive inhabitants of Beston she towers over them in her amorality, though compared to even the typical city-dweller she’s pretty nasty. Fiorentino delivers a tremendous performance, veering form raw selfishness to smooth affection, always convincing and continually deadly. All others revolve within her intricate schemes, although the supporting characters are hardly two-dimensional. Both Pullman and Berg are fine as flip-sides of the same person, drawn like moths towards the insidious insanity of Linda. To make the movie package complete, the plot is well-structured, comprehensible and ingenious. It’s reassuring to find a film where the factors used to provide shocks make sense, stemming from reasonable occurrences rather than emerging at the whim of the scriptwriter. A dark study which never loses its nerve, The Last Seduction is well worth the price of admission.

One comment

  1. Netflowers

    FILM REVIEW: THE LAST SEDUCTION; A Femme Fatale Who Lives Up To the Description

    By JANET MASLIN
    Published: October 26, 1994
    A hired assassin, an innocent fall guy and a husband and wife intent on killing each other made a sterling film noir spectacle out of “Red Rock West,” John Dahl’s recently released sleeper. Now Mr. Dahl, whose work will never again fall into the sleeper category, is back with “The Last Seduction,” which makes his earlier miscreants look like a collection of cream puffs. “Red Rock West” was memorably smart and steely. But it’s a walk in the park picking buttercups compared with this.

    Nothing else about “The Last Seduction” is as polite or colorless as its title. Certainly not Bridget Gregory (Linda Fiorentino), the hot, slinky monster who is this film’s central character. There were 1940’s noir heroines with Bridget’s brand of undiluted self-interest, but she also throws in a few tricks from the “Basic Instinct” school of interpersonal relations. Only in the insect or animal worlds are there comparable models for feminine behavior. And the female praying mantis is nicer to her mates than Bridget is to the men in this movie.

    It takes about five minutes for Mr. Dahl to establish Bridget’s breathtaking ruthlessness, as she robs her husband Clay (Bill Pullman) of the proceeds from a drug deal. Maybe she does this because Clay treated her a little badly, and maybe she’s just ready for new scenery. Anyway, Bridget takes the money and leaves New York City, winding up in Beston, a friendly little town near Buffalo. No one in Beston has ever seen anything like Bridget, and neither have you.

    Both Mr. Dahl, who directs this film with stunning economy, and Ms. Fiorentino, whose performance is flawlessly hard-boiled, exult in the sheer wickedness of Bridget’s character. What make this easy to do are Bridget’s stony seductiveness and her spellbinding talent for getting exactly what she wants. For instance, she soon appropriates Mike Swale (Peter Berg), a naive Beston resident who’s wowed by Bridget’s drop-dead sophistication. Their meeting alone, with Bridget unceremoniously unzipping Mike’s pants in a crowded barroom, is guaranteed to make every man in the audience squirm. And wonder what’s next.

    Bridget, now using the name Wendy, lures Mike into one-half of an intense affair. (She herself remains maddeningly aloof.) Meanwhile, she puts down a few tentative roots in Beston, despite the fact that the neighbors’ neighborliness is enough to make her cringe. She rents a house in suburbia (Mr. Dahl has great fun with that little contrast) and finds a job at the insurance company where Mike works. But she wants to keep their relationship a secret, so she slaps Mike when he tries talking to her at the office. “A woman loses 50 percent of her authority when people find out who she’s sleeping with,” Bridget declares.

    Bridget will not be mistaken for a crusading feminist. Her outlook is much too selfishly pathological to have a political edge, and her glamour is too scarily seductive. Besides, Bridget is a more darkly fascinating anomaly, with old-style killer instincts along with a liberated aggressiveness that suits the present day. The audience can only sit back and watch in astonishment as Bridget embroils Mike in an intricate, deadly scheme that harks back to James M. Cain, while also doing her best to keep Clay off her trail.

    “Red Rock West” had a mostly nocturnal look and eventually bogged down under the weight of its genre affectations. “The Last Seduction,” which opens today at Sony Village Theater VII, looks sunnier and sounds less derivative. That’s because its malice is so nonchalant and springs from the depths of Bridget’s character, not from the machinations of an overloaded plot. Steve Barancik’s clever screenplay builds up carefully and delivers a perfect payoff, one that suits the story while also acknowledging Bridget’s very special toughness.

    “Why do I have to turn off the lights?” Mike asks, when Bridget tries to give him orders about how to commit a murder. But of course: that’s the heart of any noir-based love story.

    “Pop psychology,” she answers. “Let yourself know you’ve finished an unpleasant chore.”

    “The Last Seduction,” a devilishly entertaining crime story with a heroine who must be seen to be believed, is as satisfying an ensemble piece as “Red Rock West.” J. T. Walsh, who was also in “Red Rock,” shows up as Bridget’s lawyer and asks her the question on every mind: “Anyone check you for a heartbeat lately?” Mr. Pullman is especially good as a man who really did deserve to be married to Bridget, and clearly gave as good as he got while the union lasted, with all the dark humor that job demanded.

    Mr. Berg is gently appealing and makes the perfect chump, which is no small compliment in such a story. And Bill Nunn has some fine scenes as the private investigator who thinks he can get the best of Bridget. Maybe male praying mantises feel that way, too.

    Mr. Dahl’s early admirers will find the promise of “Red Rock West” (and one other film, “Kill Me Again”) furthered by a gripping story and a tight, suspenseful directorial style, not to mention a heroine who’s literally to die for. Mr. Dahl was good to begin with, and now he’s badder and better.

    “The Last Seduction” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It includes profanity, explicit sexual situations and partial nudity.

    THE LAST SEDUCTION Directed by John Dahl; written by Steve Barancik; director of photography, Jeffrey Jur; edited by Eric L. Beason; music by Joseph Vitarelli; production designer, Linda Pearl; produced by Jonathan Shestack; released by October Films. Sony Village Theater VII, Third Avenue at 11th Street. Running time: 110 minutes. This film is rated R. WITH: Linda Fiorentino (Bridget Gregory), Peter Berg (Mike Swale), J. T. Walsh (Frank Griffith), Bill Nunn (Harlan) and Bill Pullman (Clay Gregory).

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