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The Last Seduction Review

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Bridget (Fiorentino) has goaded weak hubby Clay (Pullman) into stealing pharmaceutical drugs and runs off with the cash in a strop. She meets and sexually exploits Mike (Berg) and drags him into her complex web. Meanwhile, Clay has hired a private dick. Will Bridget get away with the cash and be able to return to her beloved city?

★★★★

This is one of those thrillers (like Blood Simple) that keeps coming up with genuinely surprising plot twists. Under the credits, we meet Bridget (Fiorentino), a hard-as-nails New York bitch, and Clay (Pullman), the gutless intern husband she has bullied into stealing and selling a cache of pharmaceutical drugs. Clay celebrates with a touch of spouse abuse, whereupon Bridget takes the cash and runs out on him, going to ground in a small town where she plans on sitting out the time till her shifty lawyer (J.T. Walsh) gets her a divorce. In a bar she picks up Mike (Berg), an amiably dumb small town failure whom she exploits for quick sex and then ensnares in her plan to be rid of all her personal ties. Clay has hired a private eye (Bill Nunn) and is on Bridget's trail, but she sees ways she can get away with the cash and return to her beloved city.

Dahl did good work on the small-scale noirs Kill Me Again and Red Rock West, but this (which benefits from a superb screenplay) is his best movie to date. Fiorentino's Bridget, introduced in a spectacularly cynical sequence as she works as a whip-cracking slave driver for a telephone sales company, is an authentically wonderful monster. She is funny when demonstrating her direct perfidy, but also makes marvellous little turns out of her various sob stories and deceptions.

It's not just a star turn, however, since Berg and Pullman are also perfectly cast, bringing different brands of male inadequacy to the roles of Bridget's fall guys. There are strange sex scenes, sustained stretches of quotably cynical dialogue and an ending you'll be hard put not to find funny even if you're ashamed of it.

Dahl's best film to date with twists galore and an energised performance from Fiorentino.

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