One Night Stand

Bomb Rating: 

Seeing a film that advertises itself as "From the Director of 'Leaving Las Vegas'" is like buying a breakfast cereal that promotes itself as "From the makers of cyanide." Mmmm, tasty.

If I could sum up director Mike Figgis's stylistic approach to movie-making in one word, it would probably be something like: "selfabsorbedselfimportantconceitedpseudointellectualass muncher." What exactly does this guy do as a director? Tell everyone to stand around and look concerned?

Wesley Snipes plays a black guy named Max who directs commercials and seems to have a happy marriage, until he takes a trip to New York and sleeps with the first woman whom he goes to a recital with and nearly gets mugged with while standing next to, Karen (Nastassja Kinski). Then he returns home and starts to withdraw from his wife (Ming-Na Wen), even though she likes to have sex doggie-style. Then, a year later, he goes back to New York and runs into Karen again, where he is faced with a life-altering decision.

To say that Figgis's cinematic eye lingers a little bit is kind of like saying that Hitler had a minor problem with border incursions. The guy stays with every shot and situation as though it were dying of cancer. For God's sake, it takes him until the end of time just to establish that the traffic is bad in New York and that Max won't be able to catch his plane. He also writes in a man dying of AIDS (Robert Downey Jr.) just to drive the point home that life is short. I can tell you, after this film, you'll think it's not short enough.

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