China Moon

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

From the humid climes of Florida comes a steamy, old-fashioned murder mystery. Homicide detective Kyle Bodine (Ed Harris) and his buddy Lamar Dickey (Benicio Del Toro) roam around the city, waiting to get called for their next crime scene. One night they end up at a blues bar where Kyle meets Rachel Munro (Madeleine Stowe), a mysterious woman who totally ignores him. Later Kyle tracks her down and they soon become romantically involved. When Kyle discovers that Rachel's husband, a wealthy banker, abuses her physically, Kyle begs Rachel to leave him. Unfortunately, the night Rachel decides to leave, her husband comes in unexpectedly to find her packing and begins beating her up again. Rachel pulls out a gun and kills him. Then she asks Kyle to help her cover up the murder. Ironically, he and his buddy are put on the case. As events unfold, Kyle begins to doubt Rachel's love for him. CHINA MOON starts out slow, but eventually picks up relentless speed with more twists and turns than a figure skater.

Those who enjoy a good who-dunnit will appreciate this movie, which would have been top-notch without the sexual situations and violence. The gory details start out right away as Kyle is called to a crime scene where a nude woman lies murdered on the bloody floor. The first scene shows a man and woman making love as a detective takes pictures. The pictures of this affair are seen several times, seemingly to titillate the audience. The relationship between Kyle and Rachel turns explicit as Rachel goes skinny-dipping revealing full frontal nudity. Four graphic gunshot killings at close range with lots of blood could have easily been less explicit without hurting the integrity of this movie. Offensive language is also spewed about, including many obscenities and profanities. On the positive side, the moral seems to be that lying and cheating destroy love. But when will Hollywood learn that a movie can be better without all the offensive language, sexual situations and violence? CHINA MOON obviously has not learned this lesson.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Orion Pictures, 304 Park Ave. S., NY, NY 10010

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (10) times - Mild 6; Moderate 4

Obscene Language: Many (18) times (f-word 14, s-word 2, others 2)

Profanity: Many (10) times - Regular 4; Exclamatory 3

Violence: Several times - Moderate and Severe (4 people shot with guns at close range, lots of blood shown; woman bruised from beating, shown being hit once)

Sex: Implied 3 times, with nudity

Nudity: Several times (full frontal female nudity twice, breast nudity in pictures)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times - references to intercourse

Drugs: Drinking shown few times

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adult

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