Slow Burn Wayne Beach

Slow Burn Wayne Beach
Trying to keep up with the twists and misdirections of Wayne Beach’s Slow Burn is not so much difficult as tiring. As a convoluted modern day film noir, Slow Burn manages to capture the visual style of the genre, though the plot leaves much to be desired. Slow Burn’s problems go beyond simple story confusion, including a tiresome racial conceit surrounding whether Jolene Blalock’s character is black or white, and dialogue issues, such as L.L. Cool J’s character’s bizarre and distracting need to describe things by how they smell during extended narrative voiceovers (i.e., "she came into the room smelling like mashed potatoes”). Ford Cole (Ray Liota) is a by-the-books district attorney who is drawn into the elaborate criminal conspiracy of secretive crime lord Danny Ludin (telling you who plays the crime boss would be a terrible spoiler). Cole’s assistant district attorney, and requisite femme fatale, Nora Timmer (Jolene Blalock) is arrested for the murder of her alleged rapist, Isaac Duperde (Mekhi Phifer). While investigating the crime, a stranger (L.L. Cool J) arrives at the police station telling a different story of Isaac’s murder and the circumstances leading up to the event. Cole has until five a.m to get to the bottom of the lies before Danny Ludin enacts a devastating plan to destroy part of the city. If that plot synopsis seems hard to follow, the movie is even more so. In terms of extras, the DVD is lacking, with only an alternate and deleted scene, a basic "making of” featurette and a lifeless commentary by director Wayne Beach, where he tells the audience about some major script changes that went on before filming (possibly explaining why the plot seems so muddled). If you have a thing for overly complex crime dramas with misplaced racial subtext, then you might enjoy Slow Burn. (Maple)