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Gina Gershon, Val Kilmer, and Ray Liotta have fun with their trailer park roles in Breathless, but it's not enough to bring the movie to life....
Anchor Bay / 91 Minutes / 2012 / Rated R / Street Date: August 14, 2012
This grade-Z Tarantino-heavy thriller starts with Lorna (Gina Gershon) being angry with her husband Dale (Val Kilmer) for participating in a bank robbery. No one knows if this actually happened or not, but Lorna's convinced, and when her buddy Tiny (Kelli Giddish) comes by, they launch into a full-fledged interrogation, both trying to figure out the truth and (more importantly) where Dale's stolen cash might be.
Then, just as progress seems to be gaining momentum, Lorna kills Dale (by accident?), and the sheriff (Ray Liotta) comes a-knockin'. Sheriff Emmitt Cooley smells a rat, to be sure - Lorna and Tiny look like they're up to something, but he has to get a search warrant before he can dig through their trailer. So he takes off, and Lorna and Tiny spend the rest of Breathless both trying to clean up the crime scene and find that damned loot.
There's a late-night TBS hum to Breathless that sometimes works, and Gershon and Giddish nail their Texas debutantes gone bad personalities with campy fervor, but Breathless never fully captures the zippy moral crescendos of its retread shtick. Watching Liotta and Kilmer dig their fangs into histrionic characters like these should help liberate the film from its straight-to-video chains, but Breathless just doesn't spark.
Call it an experiment gone wrong or just a ho-hum movie with good intentions, but while the church of Gershon will find their queen in fine, bedeviled form here, very few others will get their money's worth. Crime capers like Breathless are eternally entertaining - there's a reason they keep getting made - but they need to showcase more gravitas and, well, fun than this. If you take the premise for Breathless, turn up the camp factor to 11 and maybe throw in some copious nudity - then we'll talk.