Friday, 11 April 2008

Film Review – (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight

New York policeman Nick Reed (played by Mark Wahlberg of ‘And the Funky Bunch’ fame) feels like the luckiest man in the world. He has just been promoted to Detective, and he has just met the girl of his dreams, the gorgeous Lucy (Kristen Bell). But when a series of murders occurs on a long, hot night, everything points to his new beau. Reed can’t seem to escape the fact that the murdered men all just died in her arms tonight. It must have been something she said….but what? It’s up to Detective Reed to find out, before Lucy strikes again!

The latest hit US thriller from director Michael Mann is about to be released in England, and it’s a chilling tale of murder and redemption. Inspired by the song of the same name by Cutting Crew, (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight kept me on the edge of my seat throughout each heartbreaking and action-packed minute.

Wahlberg is excellent as the detective who is torn between the feelings he has for his lover and the knowledge that a lot of men just died in her arms tonight and it must have been something she said. Bell is quite fearsome as Lucy, the killer, and the actress makes it feel easy, makes it feel right, in the role.

There are some wonderfully tense scenes, like when Lucy’s latest potential victim (Ian Holm) finds himself in the bedroom where so many other men have just died in her arms. The camera slowly pans through the room, showing Lucy’s diary sitting on the bedside table, the curtains, closed, and a cat in a cradle. Whether this is symbolic, or just a bit weird, I couldn’t tell. But it’s still very nice to look at.

That’s not to say that the film is flawless. I felt myself feel frustrated by the plot at times, especially when the actions of the men who die in Lucy’s arms don’t make sense. I couldn’t understand why they just didn’t walk away. They should have walked away.

There’s a nice little twist ending to the film, too, when Reed discovers that it wasn’t something she said, but instead it was some kind of kiss that caused the men to just die in her arms tonight. I know it’s bad form to reveal the ending to a film in the review, but this was so great I couldn’t keep it a secret. Sorry!

All in all, I would say that (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight compares well to Michael Mann’s other thrillers, like Collateral and Heat, especially given that it is constrained by being entirely based on a song by an awful 80s band. Three stars.


p0nk said...

let's just be thankful it wasn't a movie based on Donna Summer's - McArthur Park.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Hmm, it could work:

"Someone left the cake out in the rain...and now they're gonna pay!"