Despite some quirky plot curves and the bizarre, moralistic motivation that drives its killer, THE SOFT KILL is ordinary to the core.
Within hours of sleeping with Kim (Kim Morgan Greene), the beautiful wife of district attorney Martin Lewis (Corbin Bernsen), womanizing private eye Jack Ramsey (Michael Harris) learns that he's a suspect in her strangling. Zealous detective Vinnie (Matt McCoy) wants to see Jack go to jail, but
Jack's ex-cop partner Ben (Brion James) helps keep the heat low. Ben, a bereaved widower who's intensely loyal to his friends, plays hardball with a minor hood who made the mistake of breaking into the Lewis estate on the night of the killing, but there's another witness, a cab driver, who places
Jack at the murder scene. The mystery thickens as Kim's cold-hearted sister Jane (Carrie Anne Moss) sashays into town with her daughter, and suggests that Kim's husband may be guilty.
After some incriminating photos of Jack and Kim turn up, Jack accuses Martin of framing him, but soon the D.A., too, is murdered. Jack begins to suspect Jane, and goes to Ben for help. Imagine his surprise when he finds the negatives of the photographs in Ben's home darkroom. Ben, who has
kidnapped Jane and her daughter, drives the frightened pair to the site where his wife killed herself. There, the disturbed Ben spills the terrible story: his wife was another notch on Jack's belt, and he hates Jack for it. Jack torments Ben with the suggestion that his wife committed suicide to
get away from Ben's smothering attentions. The two men grapple for Ben's gun and, with Jack's finger on the trigger, Ben turns the weapon on himself, bringing his campaign to teach Jack about suffering to a melodramatic end.
THE SOFT KILL never manages to disguise the identity of its villain and is undermined by performances bordering on folly (notably those of Brion James and Matt McCoy); suspense-dampening lovemaking interludes; and a haughty leading man who seems more concerned with his tanned good looks than with
fleshing out his characterization. As is often the case with direct-to-video erotic thrillers, the film's sex scenes, far from being integral to the story, actually compromise the suspense curve. Nonetheless, Michael Harris reserves all his energy for the sex scenes and gives nothing to the rest
of the film. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity, extensive nudity, sexual situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: Despite some quirky plot curves and the bizarre, moralistic motivation that drives its killer, THE SOFT KILL is ordinary to the core. Within hours of sleeping with Kim (Kim Morgan Greene), the beautiful wife of district attorney Martin Lewis (Corbin Bern… (more)