Beautiful Creatures Review

Nov 04, 2008 | 12:48pm EST

Dorothy (Susan Lynch) is an ex-junkie living with her violent druggie boyfriend Tony (Iain Glen). Across town trophy girlfriend Petula (Rachel Weisz) is being beaten up by the equally volatile (but wealthy) guy she's with Brian (Tom Mannion). The two women might never have met except for a chance encounter one night when Dorothy on the run from crackpot Tony sees Brian beating Petula in a deserted alley. Rushing to Petula's defense Dorothy accidentally does Brian in. Frantic the women hatch a bizarre scheme involving an make-believe kidnapping a million pounds (or two) and a corrupt cop (Alex Norton) who wants a cut of the ransom dough.

The chemistry between the women is the saving grace of this film which otherwise falls apart at the seams thanks to the clumsy lines a lack of character development and an absurdly implausible story. Weisz is a ditzy platinum blond sexpot who thankfully doesn't play the Marilyn Monroe thing to extremes--she's a dingbat with depth. Smart spirited Lynch is the apparent brains behind the operation--she does what she can with her Dorothy but some of it doesn't ring true (she's sure no junkie). In a part written especially for him Glen as despicable Tony is as hateful a villain as you can ever imagine and Norton's cop is appalling. Problem is these characters are painted with way too broad a brush--every man is a leering loathsome individual with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

This movie had some great potential--the opening sequence grabs your attention and the scene where Dorothy's faithful dog gets hold of one of dead Brian's fingers is absolutely priceless. But for the most part the Thelma & Louise-meets-Bound story goes nowhere and its ill-conceived plot is so hard to believe it's distracting (you're left thinking 'Oh come on' for over an hour.) Ample opportunity for humor is left untouched even as the characters' actions and circumstances become more and more out-there; situations escalate to outrageously shocking levels but nothing about them is even darkly funny.

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