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"Twisted" Movie Review

This One’s ‘Gigli’ Bad


Twisted stars Ashley Judd and Andy Garcia

Andy Garcia and Ashley Judd play partners in "Twisted."

Paramount Pictures
The only way you could stuff one more movie cop cliché into “Twisted” would be with a shoehorn and a sledgehammer. Even then you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a cliché that’s not already included somewhere in the script. There’s even a scene that plays out like a poor man’s version of “Silence of the Lambs” – all that was missing was the fava beans. There’s absolutely nothing inspired or original about the dialogue in “Twisted.” When you watch this atrociously rotten movie and you find yourself wishing the now defunct couple/media darlings Ben and Jen would make an appearance just to spice things up, you know something’s gotten terribly, terribly ‘twisted.’

We start off the movie finding out Jessica Shepard (Ashley Judd) has been promoted to Police Inspector and assigned to the Homicide Division. She’ll be the only female working that unit so she must be pretty damn good, right? Too bad screenwriter Sarah Thorp didn’t think through that plot point before she turned her into a barely functioning alcoholic with psychological problems who likes to pick up strangers in bars and have seedy one night stands before going home, drinking more wine, and passing out. Now if you are trying to make a good impression with your new co-workers and you also know you’re going to be up against a lot of men who don’t think you’re worthy of your promotion, wouldn’t you be a little concerned about having a hang-over and not showing up for work? Not Jessica. And wouldn’t you also start to wonder – after it happens once or twice, even three times – why you pass out and don’t remember things after drinking a little wine at home? Any normal person would so why wouldn’t this highly skilled, highly trained police officer who was promoted because of her attention to detail? Duh. You drink, you pass out, people you sleep with die – but you don’t put two and two together? Come on.

Back to the pointless plot: Shepard’s partner Mike Delmarco (Andy Garcia), her ex (Mark Pellegreno), defense attorney Ray Porter (DW Moffett) and surrogate father-police inspector boss guy (Samuel L. Jackson) are all either suspects or potential victims of a serial killer who seems to have a thing for Shepard’s one night stands. She sleeps with them, he/she kills them. What a tag team. But it’s not until the third or so victim that anyone suspects Shepard might be a killer in sheep’s clothing. The fact she has a horrible temper (she hits fellow officers and suspects alike) doesn’t even seem to enter their minds.

There's no evidence the filmmakers did any research with police officers before making “Twisted.” If they did in fact do so, they must have hired a disgruntled former cop to show them the ropes. I can’t recall a movie which portrays law enforcement officers in such a bad light, that wasn’t meant to be an indictment of a law enforcement agency in the first place. These officers don’t seem to care as much about catching criminals as they do about attacking one another and sleeping around. “Twisted” reminds me of a bad soap opera version of what police work is like.

If you’re unfortunate enough to get suckered into paying money for this movie, then I’d like to suggest you consider taking part in this little game I thought up while cursing the fact I had to sit through this brain-dead plot-impaired movie. Organize a contest involving all the other unfortunate souls who bought tickets for “Twisted.” Have each one guess what line Ashley Judd will say next and the winner could receive their money back on the ticket purchase. Of course, you’d have to get the theater to go along with this game but they should be ashamed for accepting your hard-earned dollars in the first place. An alternate version of the game would be to pick out what hunky drunk guy Judd will hop into bed with next. A third option could be to guess which character will be shown playing with a lit (or unlit – it really doesn’t matter) cigarette next. Anything to distract you from the ludicrous dialogue.

Not even the usually reliable Ashley Judd can save this lifeless film. Sometimes you watch a movie and you’re left wondering, “Was this the movie they intended to make?” If it was, then by all means I urge you to run out and write a script because Hollywood must be desperate for material.


"Twisted" was directed by Philip Kaufman and is rated R for violence, language and sexuality.

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