Gingerbread Man, The
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -3

A tropical storm is brewing offshore Savannah, Georgia, but attorney Rick Magruder (Kenneth Branagh) and his friends are busy celebrating a recent court victory at a cocktail party. Upon leaving for home, Rick observes a car being stolen from an attractive woman, Mallory Doss (Embeth Davidtz), and gives her a ride home. Soon after arrival, they have a sexual encounter and he learns that she is being stalked by some religious cultists headed by her eccentric father (Robert Duvall). Rick decides to protect Mallory and has her father committed to a psychiatric hospital, but he escapes and his cultists begin to viciously pursue Rick also. The plot thickens, though, and he discovers that Mallory is not all she appears to be. All the mystery ends in some violent confrontations as the storm comes ashore and lashes the town. There's plenty of action and intrigue in the Gingerbread Man, but the dialogue and complicated plot are difficult to understand and follow. It seems likely that this film will have only a modest box office response.

Rick sincerely wants to protect Mallory, but he likes women and his sexual encounters with Mallory are typical of his lifestyle. They are seen in bed twice after sex and, in one case, Mallory is shown completely nude from the front. Rick is a good father to his two children, but his wife is not at all happy. Rick has an investigative assistant, Clyde Pell (Robert Downey, Jr.) who hangs around bars and women. Two of his female friends are lesbians who are shown kissing each other in a bar. All the fast moving action is accompanied by much crude language and many obscenities and profanities. There's also some intense violence in the film, including hand fighting, cars being blown or burned up, car chases and gun threats and two men being shot, one in the neck. Too bad that this promising thriller is so difficult to follow and is so frequently polluted with foul language and explicit sex.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Distributor: Polygram Filmed Entertainment, 9333 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Crude Language: Many (28) times - Mild 14, Moderate 14
Obscene Language: Many (13) times - F word 1, S word 9, Other 3
Profanity: Many(15) times - Regular 14 (GD 7, J 5, JC 1, Other 1) Exclamatory 1 (Oh My God)
Violence: Many times - Moderate (Man wrestled to ground, hand fighting, car chases and gun threats, cars blown and burned up, man shot in neck, woman shoots man with flare gun)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied Twice (man and woman in bed with near nudity)
Nudity: Once (Full female frontal nudity,slightly obscured; woman lying on bed almost nude.
Homosexual Conduct: Once, women kiss each other in bar
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (man and woman embrace passionately, man talks with prostitutes at bar)
Drug Abuse: Several times (whiskey and beer drinking at home and bars)
Other: View of dead man; cat hung by neck by cultists
Running Time: 114 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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