Love Lies Bleeding (2007)
Love Lies Bleeding (2007)

Genre: Thriller Running Time: 1 hr. 34 min.

Release Date: September 15th, 2007 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Keith Samples Actors: Brian Geraghty, Jenna Dewan, Jacob Vargas, Tara Summers, Craig Sheffer, Christian Slater, Chris Ashworth

 


 

W

ith the look, feel, and scope of a low-budget TV movie, “Love Lies Bleeding” possesses very few redeeming factors. Incredibly bad acting and absurd dialogue – coupled with ridiculous subplots and dislikeable lead characters – leaves only Christian Slater’s villain as a debatably decent element. And considering his performances have never reached the level of tours de force, it’s obviously not enough to warrant watching this dreck.

Duke (Brian Geraghty) and Amber (Jenna Dewan) are two down-on-their-luck young adults who have little more than each other to come home to each night. Duke is an ex-con with a few years of the army under his belt, while Amber is a ravishingly built brunette who works at a grocery store. They are constantly at odds with the group of thieving degenerates next door, who steal their property and even break into their house to attack Amber. When a drug deal goes sour, crooked cop Sam Pollen (Christian Slater) makes an appearance to reclaim his money. A shootout with the very same gangsters that neighbor Duke and Amber results in everyone dead except a badly wounded Pollen, who, before passing out, spies Duke entering the home and swiping the loot. Immediately, Duke and Amber hit the road with tons of cash at their disposal and apparently no idea or care that the heinous Sam will stop at nothing to retrieve his tainted funds.

The performances are all third-rate at best, fueled primarily by ludicrous dialogue. Christian Slater is the only actor who looks like he knows how to act, though his decision to accept this rehashed role from a sad “True Romance” redux isn’t saying much for his career. The entire story is very much like Slater’s more impressive, aforementioned project, which was itself a present-day, ultra-violent take on Bonnie and Clyde – although here, he’s now the one-dimensional brute who pounds on Amber, like James Gandolfini’s turn in “True Romance.” His persona is so twisted that even the other rogue cops roll their eyes at his nuttiness.

In the realm of implausibility, “Love Lies Bleeding” stands at the top. After stealing the duffel bag of cash, the two nimble-minded lovers travel to Albuquerque to start gambling it all away. As luck would have it, they apparently double their ill-gotten gains before the baddies can catch up to them. Their luck, however, is about as genuine as the fuzzy dice that hang from the rearview mirror of their brand new, bright orange, ’57 Chevy – their choice for a getaway vehicle. “We’ll never find them now!” smirks Sam. After the couple are eventually confronted, they must battle a swindling room service waiter, who swipes their sack of money when they leave it out in plain view with bills poking out of the sides, and then a gardener who spies their hiding spot when they make a hasty escape from the casino, and finally Pollen, who has no understanding of mercy for such buffoons.

When the immeasurably annoying supporting duo of Albuquerque detectives shows up, the film finally loses any remaining entertainment value it might have grasped at. Nonsensical circumstances, grotesquely unnecessary sideplots, and immoderately aggravating characters abound as the drug money keeps changing hands back and forth for no good reason – as if the filmmakers were accidentally mocking the genuinely desperate, darkly sinister scenarios of “No Country for Old Men.” “Love Lies Bleeding” is destined to displease even followers of Slater, who would be fortunate to retain any fans at all after this pitiful mess.

– Mike Massie

  • 2/10