From The Vault: Blue Steel (1989) Simon Fitzjohn January 6, 2013 From The Vault 2501 I’ve got to admit, I’ve always had a soft spot for Jamie Lee Curtis. Now that might be, in fact almost certainly is, down to her role in the Halloween series, but when you throw in the likes of Prom Night, Terror Train and True Lies, there is plenty to savour in her back catalogue. I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting Jamie herself, getting a baseball signed when she threw out the first pitch at a Cubs-Padres game back in 2001. But despite those classic flicks mentioned in the second par, it is only natural for every actress to have a few duds in their locker – and Blue Steel fits snugly into that category. Don’t get me wrong, it is always entertaining, but it has to be one of the most ridiculously plotted films that I have sat through. Curtis plays Megan Turner, a newly-inducted New York cop pounding the streets of the Big Apple. Barely days into her new career, Turner is thrown headfirst into chaos when she stumbles across a goon (played by Tom Sizemore no less), holding up a mini-market at gunpoint. Megan wades in and blows the hoodlum away, but as he was waving a gun at her that seems perfectly OK. But the film decides to not only stretch, but totally obliterate the walls of credibility early on – firstly, one of the other shoppers caught up in the mess just happens to be a wannabe psycho (who snaffles Sizemore’s gun), but, even more incredibly, when it comes to the witness statements NO ONE remembers the potential thief had a gun – not even the cashier who was having it prodded in his face. Naturally Turner is subsequently suspended, deemed to be ‘trigger-happy’, only for her life to get even worse when the wannabe psycho, played with relish by the late Ron Silver, decides to implicate her in a series of murders. Silver’s Eugene Hunt, an overly-aggressive stockbroker, happily walks the rain-lashed streets of NYC, gunning down innocent victims using bullets on which he has carved Turner’s name. To make things even more complex, Hunt decides to strike up a romantic liaison with Turner (who does not remember him from the market shooting) and suddenly we have one of those scenarios that film critics and marketing gurus like to dub ‘a game of cat and mouse’. Before long Hunt reveals his true colours to Turner (pumping a magazine of bullets into her best friend while holding her round the neck tends to do that), with the rest of the film playing out as a back-and-forth affair as Megan tries to bring the killer to justice. I’m not quite sure what happened with this film – it is directed by Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow, co-produced by the likes of Oliver Stone and also stars the likes of reliable performers Kevin Dunn and Richard Jenkins. The whole thing should add up to something special, but instead you will spend most of your time shaking your head in disbelief at the various plot shifts and twists that keep being thrown at you. I should also point out that includes a crazily over-the-top sex scene featuring Curtis that comes out of nowhere, as well as the usual ‘why wouldn’t the authorities believe her’ school of scriptwriting. There are good points – Silver’s performance is one to savour, all bug eyes, roaring and smearing himself in blood (while naked of course). And the murder scenes are well handled, with the victims going down in an exploding clot of blood squibs that would match up to any effort from Woo or Peckinpah. But it is impossible to get by the plotting, with the script (written by Bigelow and Eric Red) severing this one at the knees before it even gets up and running. Blue Steel is pure tosh – entertaining tosh, but tosh all the same.