Worth A Look: 8.33%
Pretty Bad: 12.5%
Total Crap: 64.58%
4 reviews, 24 user ratings
by Chris Parry
Somebody here figured Florida noir would be a great concept for a film. Somebody ought to eat less sugar-covered breakfast cereal.Woody Harrelson is truly one of the less versatile actors going around today. He's still playing the role of Larry Flynt, mainly because, when he's not walking around in hemp clothing, that's who he is in real life.
"Avoid Palmetto unless you're a student of failed noir or 'Cheers'"
So someone decided to throw Woody in alongside Elisabeth Shue who, let's face it, is less of an actress than Elizabeth Hurley (quite hard to do) and add in Chloe Sevigny, who's acting landmarks include two hours of gaping her jaw in Harmony Korine's "Kids" and then batting her eyes through the terrible "Last Days Of Disco" and Steve Buscemi's largely unseen "Trees Lounge".
Truly a nasty piece of casting to inflict these three upon an unsuspecting audience, but then, as if to further wish us all harm, the producers added Michael Rapaport (you know him, Christian Slater's dopey acting buddy in True Romance) as a tough guy with a pencil thin moustache and a white suit.
Now I don't know how tough Michael Rapaport *thinks* he is, but you know, I know and your mother knows... he's a pussy. I could take him with my hands tied to lead weights, so when this weedy case of underfeeding starts trying to play it all tough, I'm sorry, I couldn't help it... I giggled.
Then Woody started playing this tough, Sam Spade type character in, shock horror, hemp clothing (Woody has a platform and he's gonna abuse it), just out of jail and hard as two day old dingleberries. He's a journalist wrongfully jailed and out to make some quick cash with this one big score. ZZZzzz.
So, as you can imagine.. the giggling had moved to soft laughter by now. Then came Gina Gershon. She plays an artist, who in the best traditions of Hollywood cliche, spends her day with an electric grinder and a welder's mask making "sculptures" and raking in huge cash. She's objectified and underused and spends the last third of the movie gaffer-taped to a chair. The soft laughter was picking up steam.
Then comes Shue. My God this woman *thinks* she can act, which only makes her prancing all the more objectionable. As the vamp du jour she comes across as subtle as a brick in the face delivered out of a Howitzer. She thinks she's sexy, but that doesn't make her sexy. She thinks she's acting well (you know this because she's smirking all the way through the film), but she ain't.
Shue actually seems to think she's gonna get noticed here.
She does. She's the goof in the red dress who couldn't carry a film if you put it in Saran Wrap and nailed it to her hand.
And then there's Sevigny. She has a good agent, that's all I'll say.
The director of this film has some impressive credits behind him, namely "The Tin Drum" which ruled all hell, but unless this was some kind of rush job made just to pay off gambling debts, Palmetto is a film he won't be putting on his resume anytime soon.
The one high point for this movie? The most accidentally funny ending you're ever likely to see. I mean, did they even look at this before releasing it? Was it such a hack job that they didn't care? That laughing that has been rolling through the entire film had by the end turned into full scale hilarity. But the movie didn't have one joke in it. It was just *that* bad.
"Release it, It looks stupid, but by the time people realise they'll already have forked out cash..."
I mean, what's the point of making a film set in Florida if you're only going to have one scene set in anything that even mildly resembles Florida?
"Ooh, it's a beach. Must be Florida." "He's running through trees and there's mud. That must be Florida."Palmetto wants to be smart and sexy, but suffers from a total absence of intelligence and, well, sexiness. What remains is the celluloid equivalent of deep space vacuum. With a red dress.
link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1082&reviewer=1
originally posted: 10/13/98 17:28:15