Touch

Bomb Rating: 

If I had to guess from the film's pacing, I'd say Paul Schrader is some kind of recovering speed freak who's trying to rebalance his psyche. "Touch" plods along like snot sliding down a service ramp.

I wonder if actresses are demeaned to the point where they are forced by chauvinistic producers and directors to sign a contract indicating that they will walk around the set for the entirety of a production with really hard nipples. I wonder this because Bridget Fonda does this very thing in "Touch." She never wears a bra and her nipples stick through her shirt like little torpedoes hoping a Russian sub will violate American waters.

This whole hard nipple thing is somewhat curious considering this film is based on an Elmore Leonard book about a Christ figure named Juvenal (Skeet Ulrich). Most people are fairly deferential to the supposed son of God, so it's hard to imagine director Paul ("Light Sleeper") Schrader around the rehearsal table with his actors saying, "Okay, Skeet, when you touch people, blood will pour from your hands. Look Christ-like. And, oh yeah, Bridget, could you put ice cubes on your nipples for about five minutes before every shot?"

Actually, hard nipples would hardly be an issue if this film wasn't so slow and boring. Juvenal becomes the center of attention after performing a few miracles. In hopes of making some money, an aggressive evangelist named Bill Hill (Christopher Walken) sends a former worker, Lynn Faulkner (Fonda), to see if Juvenal is for real. Meanwhile, an ultra-conservative religious leader, August Murray (Tom Arnold), has his own plans for Juvenal.

If I had to guess from the film's pacing, I'd say Paul Schrader is some kind of recovering speed freak who's trying to rebalance his psyche. "Touch" plods along like snot sliding down a service ramp. For style, Schrader includes more shots of walking feet than you can possibly count. Unfortunately for him, the repeated image of walking feet may give more than a few of his audience members ideas they won't have trouble acting on.

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