In this pallid neo-noir action flick, a burned-out auto racer endures imminent foreclosure of his hotel and death threats from a disgruntled wheeler-dealer.
Flanked by his wheelchair-bound partner Tommy (Adam Baldwin), who was crippled in a racetrack smash-up, Mickey Stuart (C. Thomas Howell) struggles to keep his floundering resort hotel from going under. Mick's in hock up to his eyeballs to Damon Vasquez (Kevin Bernhardt), the most powerful
slumlord in Baja, and has little chance of meeting his promissory note. Enter Mick's spidery ex-girlfriend, Lisa Rivers (Randi Ingerman), who suggests he help her steal $2 million from her ineffectual husband Paul (James Phillips). Paul owes the dough to Damon as part of an offshore drilling
rights scheme. Doubting Lisa's sincerity, especially after she tries to bust up his relationship with sexy marine biologist Jessica (Tia Carrere), Mick declines the offer. Meanwhile, Damon's right-hand enforcer (Kirk Fox), chokes the life out of Paul as a way of closing their business deal, and
Damon is naturally perplexed when the loot can't be found.
Believing hints dropped by two-timing Lisa, Damon grills Mick about the missing money; as a persuasive tactic, Damon's henchman kills Lisa before his eyes. No one realizes that Tommy spotted Paul's stash on his hotel video surveillance camera and took the liberty of squirreling it away to solve
his partner's cash flow problems. Mick takes out one of his captors and navigates his way to Tommy's room, where he learns the truth. When Damon takes Jessica hostage, Tommy abandons his wheelchair and crawls around the grounds, providing covering fire for his pal. Mick is cornered by Damon's men
and hands over the money. When Damon orders his hit man to shoot Jessica anyway, Tommy plugs the enforcer and Mick finishes him off. Meanwhile, Damon manages to scoot away with the money and Jessica. Mick pursues, runs down Damon with his car, and rescues Jessica. Although the cops retrieve the
knapsack loaded with cash, Tommy reveals that he had hidden most of the money--enough to save their hotel.
Not since Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy simpered their way though BLUE CITY has a contemporary film struggled so mightily with the noir tradition. Lacking the erotic charge and ambiguous edge of genre classics, TREACHEROUS hopes to get by on moody music and smoky photography. The film registers as
pure artifice--it's as if the audience had wandered into a theme-park nightclub called "Le Film Noir," in which aspects of 1940s crime movies were antiseptically recreated for risk-free consumption. Excruciatingly padded, this inert noir pastiche takes time out for bland sex scenes and listless
car chases, concluding with an over-extended shoot-out that's so sloppily staged and edited that the viewer can't tell where the principal characters are in relation to each other and the hotel. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity, extensive nudity, substance abuse.)
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