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Ruby Cairo Review

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★★★★★

Put mother-of-three Bessie Faro (MacDowell) goes to Mexico to investigate the death of her lovable but dodgy husband (Mortensen), a pilot whose body has been so badly burned that he has to be identified by his false teeth.

Thanks to some hieroglyphics scrawled on baseball cards, she tracks down a batch of bank accounts in various countries and discovers that her supposedly near-bankrupt husband was actually loaded. Meanwhile, she bumps into terminally nice feed-the-world type Neeson and a bunch of sinister swarthy sweaty foreigners out to get her. The sort of globetrotting semi-romantic pretend thriller that would very probably have had a hard time propping up the lower half of a double bill with Mutiny On The Buses in 1973, this has a script of terminal dullness, and a last-minute twist you'll guess in the first five minutes.

Directed by the man who made Frances and then slipped into Gleaming The Cube, the plot remains at once murky and predictable, the villains are so obvious that real-life international criminals might want to complain they are being misrepresented by the movies, and the supposed romance between MacDowell and Neeson is an embarrassing non-sparker. And rarely have so many top-rank Oscar-worthy technicians (composer John Barry, production designer Richard Sylbert, cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs) been wasted on anything so ordinary and undistinguished as this.

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