Bewildering misfire from Spike Lee
OPENS SEPTEMBER 24, CERT 15, 140 MINS
The disappointment of the year. When Lee’s got game, he makes vibrant films with plenty to say?The 25th Hour was a triumph. But this is disastrous. On every conceivable level it flounders and, halfway through its marathon running time, you’re embarrassed for him.
It can’t decide whether it’s a limp satire on big business or a sex comedy. Jack (Anthony Mackie, for whom oblivion beckons) is fired from a corrupt biotech company for whistle-blowing. He’s persuaded by an ex-girlfriend, now a lesbian, to father kids for her gay friends at $10,000 a tryst. Cue much shagging and dire sperm-egg jokes which Woody Allen would have rejected in the ’70s. Jack’s soon in trouble with the law (framed for fraud) and a gaggle of greedy lesbians. There’s the odd comment on race or gender, but they’re lost in this incohesive mess.
Cameos from John Turturro (as a Mob don), Woody Harrelson, Ellen Barkin and Monica Bellucci lend hope that Lee will rectify the nosedive, but they’re mirages. An utter dog.