Rated: R Due to nudity and sexual activity. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: January 15, 1993 Released by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
This could be the worst film of the year. Rebecca Carlson (Madonna) is accused of the murder of her elderly lover by using her body as a weapon (through violent sex). District Attorney Robert Garret (Joe Mantegna) presses for a conviction with Madonna as the deadly weapon. She is defended by Frank Dulaney (William Dafoe) who is so drawn by her sexually that he indulges in unusual sex with her. It doesn't matter that his wife is far better looking and has a much better figure.
If Madonna could act, perhaps the outlandish premise might work, but the combination of her benign acting, except during her sexual encounters, and a script which is a joke, provokes laughs as Madonna seduces men.
It reminded me of the foreign films in the 50s which were disjointed, made no sense to Americans, but had a little sexual titillation to draw audiences.
Dafoe is the fool used by Madonna for her own ends. When Cathleen Turner played Matty Walker in Body Heat it was easy to believe she could seduce her lawyer and everyone else. In Body of Evidence, it's hard to believe the players could keep a straight face attempting to convince the audience they could not resist Madonna's silly cavorting. The courtroom scenes are equally silly with Judge Burnham (Lillian Lehman) yelling out orders to everyone in the court room in place of thought, provoking testimony. The script is filled with holes, wrong questions asked, and others which were obvious not asked.
Director Uli Edel was successful with Last Exit to Brooklyn, but this effort appears to be one which would have shocked the Jesuit monastery her spent his youth in. Perhaps the monks would be turned on by a view of Madonna's behind, but even they would have been bored with the evidence presented in this script.
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