A latter-day film noir involving the intertwined destinies of three boozy lowlifes. Collie (Jason Patric) is a near-psychopathic ex-boxer who left the ring after killing a competitor. He becomes involved with Fay (Rachel Ward), a seductive, alcoholic widow, and Uncle Bud (Bruce Dern), a
sleazy former lawman, and is drawn into their scheme to get rich quick by kidnapping the young scion of a wealthy local family.
AFTER DARK, MY SWEET is based on a 1955 novel by prolific tough-guy novelist Jim Thompson, who worked on the screenplays of THE KILLING and PATHS OF GLORY for Stanley Kubrick, and whose The Grifters and The Kill-Off were also turned into 1990 releases. Director James Foley (RECKLESS, AT CLOSE
RANGE) and cinematographer Mark Plummer deftly conjure the sense of stifling containment that drives these characters to drink or sin, but Robert Redlin's screenplay fails to fully animate their personalities. Patric gives a tremendous, smoldering performance, but Ward fails to convey the
mysterious radiance of a convincing femme fatale. Dern rounds out the unappetizing triangle with an unpleasant performance, proving himself a worthy contender in the Dennis Hopper/Harry Dean Stanton creepstakes.
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