Mad Dogs And Englishmen Review

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An upper-class heroin addict faces the crazed wrath of a mad police officer.


If you were Hugh Grant and you had just entrusted the job of developing scripts for your new production company to one Elizabeth Hurley, you might have good reason to be concerned. Her track record in selecting her own acting projects smacks of desperation. In her first starring role, as upper-class heroin addict Antonia, Hurley is left high and dry by a script that never makes up its mind which way its going.

For a start, the opening credits are accompanied by DJ Alan Freeman chin-wagging away just to spell out the date as 1980, but after an almost totally irrelevant one-minute scene in which Lord Lichfield takes the photo of an aristocratic family we're whisked forward to the present day.

After this false start, there's another, as Antonia strikes up a relationship of sorts with the biker who delivers her drugs - played by C. Thomas Howell, forgotten bratpack star of Soul Man and The Hitcher.

Following a glimpse of the decadent party lifestyle of Antonia and her Sloane Ranger chums, the film finally gets stuck into a ludicrous plot about mad police officer Joss Ackland, whose incestuous passion for his stepdaughter (Louise Delamere) has somehow launched him on an obsessive vendetta against upper-class junkies which he pursues first by raping Hurley, and then by trying to have her bumped off by his henchmen, a couple of gay psychopaths who also work for drug baron Jeremy Brett.

Hurley's performance certainly isn't the least convincing, but her status as actress still remains second to her position as clothes horse to risque haute couture.

Baffling to the point of boredom, this is yet another British thriller about as gripping as KY jelly and stuffed with fine talents doing their utmost to undermine polished careers.