Cold Around The Heart

The latest in a seemingly endless string of interchangeable neo-noirs, Cold Around The Heart stars rising-star-turned-national-punchline David Caruso as a hard-boiled jewel robber, Kelly Lynch as his antagonistic lover, Christopher Noth as a dim-witted stooge, and late-20s human Kewpie doll Stacey Dash as the world's oldest teenage runaway. The film begins with Lynch pushing Caruso out of a speeding car and making off with a million dollars in diamonds; the rest of Cold Around The Heart documents Caruso's attempts to find Lynch and possibly kill her. As written and directed by U-Turn screenwriter John Ridley, Cold Around The Heart is an occasionally stylish if consistently tedious film that plods on doggedly without going anywhere. Like so many other unexceptional present-day neo-noirs, it all but ignores character development and psychological realism in favor of tired posturing, horribly overwritten dialogue, and plot twists that will surprise only those who have spent their lives in caves. And while both Lynch and Caruso give decent, suitably hard-boiled performances, their characters are so one-dimensional, predictable, and uninvolving that it's difficult to care about them, their supposedly intense passion for each other, or the end result of their endless series of double- and triple-crosses. Like so many films of its ilk, Cold Around The Heart is a forgettable exercise in stylishly empty genre hackwork.

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