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The Films of Carl Reiner

Enter Laughing

The Comic

Where's Poppa?

Oh, God!

The One and Only

The Jerk

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

The Man with Two Brains

All of Me

Summer Rental

Summer School

Bert Rigby, You're a Fool

Sibling Rivalry

Fatal Instinct (January 2/14)

A continuously ineffective parody picture, Fatal Instinct follows grizzled cop Ned Ravine (Armand Assante) as he falls for a mysterious femme fatale named Lola Cain (Sean Young) - with complications ensuing as Lola's less-than-savory intentions are matched by Ned's murderous wife (Kate Nelligan's Lana). Filmmaker Carl Reiner, working from a script by David O'Malley, has clearly set out to lampoon a wide variety of thematically similar movies, including Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, Body Heat, and Double Indemnity, but, as becomes increasingly clear, Reiner and O'Malley haven't bothered to craft any actual jokes and have instead peppered the proceedings with tweaked cinematic references that are, by and large, hopelessly unfunny. And although Assante's straight-faced, impressively deadpan performance remains a highlight, Fatal Instinct suffers from a dearth of clever or interesting ideas that slowly-but-surely transforms it into a rather interminable experience. It's too bad, really, given the potential of a Naked Gun-style approach to the film noir genre, with one's efforts at overlooking the movie's various missteps thwarted by a complete and utter lack of laughs.

out of

That Old Feeling

© David Nusair