In "Palmetto" there only seem to be two good-looking women on the planet, and a stupid ex-con is screwing them both.
Why is it that when loser idiots like Harry Barber (Woody Harrelson) get out of jail, a beautiful girlfriend like Nina (Gina Gershon) is waiting to escort them to some kind of trouble that inevitably involves additional intercourse with someone like Rhea Malroux (Elisabeth Shue)? In "Palmetto" there only seem to be two good-looking women on the planet, and a stupid ex-con is screwing them both.
If I'm going to sit through a slow, boring film like "Palmetto," then my bonus ought to be that the director Volker Schlondorff does his chauvinist-pig best to exploit Elisabeth Shue's naked body. He could toss in Gina Gershon too, if he wanted, but since Shue spends the entire film strutting around with her breasts jacked up under her chin like ripe honeydew melons, the least he could do is let me see them.
For some reason, Schlondorff also thinks there's some correlation between film noir and slow, pointless storytelling. "Palmetto" takes forever to get going, which seems to be Schlondorff trying desperately to explore his own personal style. Hey Schlondorff: Go explore your own personal style in the bathroom, by yourself. When you're out in public, get to the goddamn point.
Barring Shue's breasts, the writers might have tried to throw in a little decent dialogue and maybe some supporting characters that couldn't be mistaken for scarecrows. Then again, scarecrows fit right in given that the rest of the players glide around like zombies -- which is what you'll feel like after this film mercifully ends.
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