Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hot Touch

(Roger Vadim, 1981)
A moderately entertaining piece of jet-setting hackwork, set in the glamorous and dangerous world of art forgery. Master forger Wayne Rogers gets mixed up with scheming dealer Samantha Eggar and her scalpel-wielding enforcer; battle of wits ensues. Directed as it is by old pro Vadim, this one exhibits a general tendency toward making sense, is presented without fuss or longeuers, and keeps the ensemble down to manageable numbers. Marie-France Pisier is resourceful and self-sufficient as well as gorgeous, Rogers is somewhat less cloying than usual, and Lloyd Bochner is quite enjoyable as the diabolical yet ineffectual enforcer - especially when he falls victim to the old hypodermic-needle-in-the-eye gag. That's a welcome punctuation point in what is ultimately a pretty dull affair - small moments do enliven most scenes, but the procedural detail around the act of forgery is mainly exploited for high-rolling glamour, and if you're going to ask me to succumb to escapist class fantasies then I'm going to demand climactic sequences that aren't art auctions.

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