How many movies have Richard Gere and Kim Basinger made together?
Through out his career Richard Gere has been fortunate enough to star opposite some of Hollywood's most attractive women such as Julia Roberts, Diane Lane, Jennifer Lopez, Winona Ryder, Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Laura Dern and Debra Winger to name but a few. One of the most attractive is Kim Basinger who Richard Gere starred with in not just one but two movies: "No Mercy" (1986) and "Final Analysis" (1992).
No Mercy (1986)
Whilst posing as car washers, Chicago cop Eddie Jillette (Richard Gere) and his partner get a hot lead on a possible hit man job. Posing as the hit man he meets with the New Orleans client looking for a paid kill, but their meeting doesn't go as planned as Jillette's partner is killed and a beautiful woman, Michel (Kim Basinger) he holds the key to things manages to disappear. Determined to discover the truth and get revenge for his partner's murder Jillette heads south to track down the mysterious woman where he not only discovers her but gets into a whole lot of trouble with a criminal organization and local cops who are unimpressed with him sniffing about.
"No Mercy" is a very well written cop thriller; it builds the storyline in a solid way except that whilst well written and solid it's also all very cliché. Everything from the cop seeking revenge for a murder through to the various bad guys, they're all components used in many other similar movies. Even the way the story builds, whilst solid, suffers from being unoriginal and that leaves "No Mercy" one major problem that is whilst it's well made it's ultimately forgettable.
The thing is that whilst the storyline feels unoriginal director Richard Pearce does his best to distract you by delivering a brilliantly paced movie and some wonderful atmospheric location shots. The scenes in the swamps or abandoned cabin are full of atmosphere and tension, delivering a surprisingly moody movie, something greater than the actual storyline.
Plus of course there is the first pairing of Richard Gere and Kim Basinger and it has to be said the chemistry between them sizzles. It's brilliant because the tension, the sexual chemistry between them builds to an expected crescendo but what a crescendo. In many ways it is the pairing of Richard Gere and Kim Basinger which makes it all worth watching even if some of the scenes feels quite crude, such as one featuring Basinger's character Michel cooling off by dampening her shirt, a scene which seems to revolve around her wet shirt clinging to her clearly visible breasts.
Watching "No Mercy" now does show it up as being dated, with a lot of it feeling very cliché in wake of greater movies which use the same ideas. But it is still worth a watch just to watch that sexual chemistry between Richard Gere and Kim Basinger.
Final Analysis (1992)
Whilst treating a troubled woman, top psychiatrist Isaac Barr (Richard Gere) finds himself falling for her sister Heather (Kim Basinger). But it's a complicated situation as Heather is married to notorious Greek mobster Jimmy Evans (Eric Roberts) and when Jimmy turns up murdered, Heather is arrested as the number one suspect. Determined to clear her name, Isaac does everything he can to prove her innocence but in doing so discovers all may not be as it seems.
Watching "Final Analysis" there is something which smacks you around the face almost immediately, this is a movie inspired by Alfred Hitchcock both in storyline and styling. "Final Analysis" is most certainly not in the same league as Hitchcock but it's not bad, in fact it is remarkably engrossing as it strives for a mix of classic with contemporary.
The storyline itself feels like it could have come right out of a Hitchcock movie and on closer inspection there are elements of "Vertigo" about is with a big dose of Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity", but it works. It may not be the most solid of storylines, with elements such as Isaac's unprofessional manner requiring you to ignore the implausibility of it, but it is engrossing. You are drawn into this tangled mess of romance, murders and blame all of which have a psychological tint to them and although certain twists are obvious it keeps you interested.
As with the storyline the characters again tip their hat to classic Hitchcock with a main character stuck in the middle of some mysterious, murderous game. Whilst elements of the story may be implausible Richard Gere is surprisingly believable as psychiatrist Isaac Barr and with him reuniting with Kim Basinger as the seductive Heather the sexual chemistry once more sizzles. It is once more the pairing of Richard Gere and Kim Basinger which makes the movie work and although "Final Analysis" also features Uma Thurman and Eric Roberts they are over shadowed.
Whilst "Final Analysis" most certainly tips its hat to Hitchcock and classic film noir it also mixes in the contemporary and with two sexy stars there is a certain amount of sexiness to the storyline. And from that I do mean that Isaac and Heather do end up romping in the sack but compared to many more modern movies the sex scene is quite tasteful and by no means just thrown in for the purpose of titillation.
The only problem with "Final Analysis" is that to try and be clever it twists, turns and doubles back all over the place. The outcome of which is rather than making it a truly intelligent thriller which keeps you on your toes turns it into a bit of a daft one with too many red herrings, many of which are just too obvious for words. But despite this it is again a movie which is worth watching because it gets close to capturing what Hitchcock was doing all those years earlier.
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Andy Webb has been writing movie reviews for many years and his work can be found on various websites but also on his own website The Movie Scene.
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