Sliver (1993)

Sharon Stone is by far the best part of this underwhelming, allegedly erotic thriller that features no thrills of any kind. Ira Levin’s source novel effectively explores themes of voyeurism and impotent male rage with clarity, and some of that finds its way to this adaptation’s narrative, but unfortunately the screenplay by Joe Eszterhas is almost singularly focused on the more lurid elements of the story, much to the plot’s detriment. As usual Eszterhas approaches sexuality with all the maturity of an over-stimulated teenager with no sexual experience, and the character development here is all done through the lens of an immature sexuality that has little connection to the real world. Neither William Baldwin nor Tom Berenger have any chemistry with Stone, negating any suspense or steam in their interactions, and it’s hard not to notice that women’s boundaries are treated as mere inconveniences that can be ignored at will. It’s a misogynistic cornucopia all around, and it’s particularly apparent in poor Colleen Camp’s performance, saddled as she is in an irritating supporting role singularly focused on sexual gossiping as though there is no other aspect to the character’s existence. A few inspired directorial flourishes by Philip Noyce liven things up once in a while, but it’s too little to make the movie palatable.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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