The Curse of the Jade Scorpion

Synopsis: The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion is “a winner” raves ABC Radio. Someone stealing millions in jewels from New York City’s upper crust and the only man who can crack the case is completely clueless! Woody Allen stars as a crackerjack investigator who falls under the spell of a crook and a beautiful colleague in his most baffling case yet. Feel the sting of the Jade Scorpion with an all-star cast, including Dan Aykroyd, Elizabeth Berkeley, Helen Hunt and Charlize Theron, in this irresistible “comic gem!” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)
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The Curse of the Jade Scorpion 7.5

While I certainly enjoyed this film, it’s a middling effort for Woody Allen; the story is decent, but not great, the cast is good, but not overly engaging, and the humour is pleasant, but not uproariously funny.

The story centers on an insurance investigator who gets hypnotized into using his knowledge of his company’s clients to commit crimes. It’s fairly contrived and the mystery is well-known from the onset (so I’m not spoiling anything! ;). While this last bit trumps the suspense, it would usually be the perfect vehicle for laughs galore. Not quite the case here, sadly, but it’s good for a few chuckles.

Actually, one of the great laughs is the way Helen Hunt’s character constantly dismisses Woody Allen with side-splittingly grotesque ways in which she wishes injury upon him; it’s so outrageous that you can’t help but burst out. Conversely, Woody Allen overdoes some of his comic bits to such a painful degree that it halts the momentum of the scenes.

Bottom line: it’s an imperfect film, but it’s hardly cursed. It’s certainly worth seeing at least once by Allen fans and non-fans alike.

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