Rough Magic

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

Weird, weird, weird describes ROUGH MAGIC, a strange story set in the 1950s. Myra (Bridget Fonda) is traveling around the U.S. as an elderly magician's assistant. He's accidentally killed during an argument with Myra's fianc Cliff (D. W. Moffett), and a devastated Myra escapes to Mexico. The magician had urged her to go there and seek out Tojola, a 700-year-old priestess who could help Myra develop rare supernatural powers. In Mexico Myra meets Doc Ansell (Jim Broadbent), selling fake medicine to gullible natives. Doc gives her directions to Tojola's remote mountain hideout. Meanwhile, the jilted Cliff has hired a reporter, Alex Ross (Russell Crowe), to find Myra. Ross and Doc tag along with the cold, aloof Myra, who locates the priestess (Euva Anderson), drinks a secret potion and discovers that she can perform real magic. The characters are so unbelievable and the plot so contrived, it could have been written by teenagers in a creative writing contest. Even with a free pass, ROUGH MAGIC is hardly worth the price of admission.

Occult happenings too numerous to list dominate the film. With her special powers, Myra lays an egg that hatches a deadly tarantula that bites a man in the crotch. In a crude scene she turns a man into a sausage, and when he's restored to human form at a public gathering, he's naked. Although he's only seen from the waist up, comments and expressions leave little to our imagination. A corpse is also shown being transformed into flying doves. A sex scene features a man and his wife under the covers, and two rabbits are shown mating, but more offensive is a scene of two men kissing passionately. Foul language includes six obscenities, mostly s-words, and some regular profanity. Several violent altercations include the magician getting shot and hits to the head and kicks in the stomach. A man doused with gasoline and set on fire screams in pain. ROUGH MAGIC is rough in deed and in theme, presenting magic as supernatural reality. Further, its glamorization of witchcraft and other occult phenomena will offend Christian audiences.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Samuel Goldwyn Co., 10203 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90067-6403

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 (18) times - Mild 8, Moderate 10

Obscene Language: Several (6) times - (s-word 5, other 1)

Profanity: Several (8) times - Regular 4 (G-d 1, J 2, C 1), Exclamatory 3

Violence: Several times - Moderate and Severe (fist fights, kick to stomach, man doused with gasoline and set on fire, bloody shooting, man bitten by tarantula)

Sex: Twice (married couple in bed under covers, rabbits mating)

Nudity: None; near nudity few times (low-cut dresses)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (references to sex)

Drugs: Few times (alcohol drinking, some drunkenness, woman given drugs)

Other: Theme of sorcery and occult (man turned into sausage, 700-year-old shaman gives woman supernatural powers, woman lays egg, corpse turned into doves)

Running Time: 104 minutes
Intended Audience: Young adults

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