A cop and a burglar generate sexual heat before deciding to go into business together in this crime thriller that is saved in its third act with a twist on its fairly standard plot. The film was first shown on cable television in 1998, and was subsequently released to home video.
"Gardening consultant" Xinia Kelly (Jennifer Beals) is really a burglar with a specialty in getting past high-tech alarms. At a bar, she meets and flirts with snake rancher Bram Hatcher (Powers Boothe). Intrigued, she tracks him to his ranch, and the two make love. Checking out his place while
he's asleep, Xinia discovers that Bram is really a cop who has been tailing her. After she vengefully tries to incriminate him in another robbery, Bram tells Xinia he's more interested in bedding her than arresting her, and gives her his incriminating file on her.
Bram becomes intrigued by Xinia's profession, and asks her to teach him. They become partners, scoring well until they are interrupted and nearly caught on a job by Bram's former partner Colin (Garry Chalk). Wanting to leave town but lacking the funds to start over, Gram suggests that they hit
Madden (Eric Keenleyside), a sleazy lawyer with a safe full of undeclared cash from his drug-dealing clients. When Madden catches them in the act, Bram shoots him dead. Splitting up to tie up their loose ends, Xinia accidentally learns that her fence Ray (John Cassini), has been working for Bram:
Bram has long planned to rob Madden, and enlisted Xinia for her particular skills. Bram kills both Ray and Colin, and tracks Xinia down. He is about to kill her when she beats him to it with a bomb planted in what he thinks is the bundle of loot. Xinia drives off to a new life with Bram's favorite
Eroticism should be left to the pros, as the weakest aspects of THE SPREE are the endless make-out scenes between Powers Boothe and Jennifer Beals (or more precisely, Boothe and Beals's body double, in the tradition of Beals's 1983 big-screen breakthrough, FLASHDANCE.) They're made particularly
laughable by trite seduction dialogue and the use of a snake that couldn't be more obvious if it had the words "phallic symbol" painted on its body (and which gives the ending a presumably unintentional echo of Lorena Bobbit). Nor does a subplot involving Xinia's dying father do anything except
provide a role for Rita Moreno as her grieving mother. Fortunately, THE SPREE improves when it becomes a variant on the standard noir plot of a straight arrow tricked into a criminal venture by a femme fatale, with Boothe as the "bad girl." This half of the film moves at a crisp pace, and is least
interesting even if obvious once Gram's true nature becomes apparent. (Violence, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: R
- Review: A cop and a burglar generate sexual heat before deciding to go into business together in this crime thriller that is saved in its third act with a twist on its fairly standard plot. The film was first shown on cable television in 1998, and was subsequently… (more)