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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.24%
Worth A Look: 20.41%
Average: 12.24%
Pretty Bad40.82%
Total Crap: 14.29%

2 reviews, 37 user ratings

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Original Sin
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by EricDSnider

"The Untalented Ms. Ripley."
2 stars

"Original Sin" begins with a close-up of Angelina Jolie's grotesque lips. She is the heroine of the film and its occasional narrator, and she says, "This is not a love story. But it is a story about love."

Though that sounds contradictory, it actually makes sense. The film is certainly no love story, as it is completely devoid of romance or chemistry between its two leads. But it is ABOUT love -- specifically, about the lengths to which people might go when they are madly in love.

So Jolie's utterance makes sense. It is the only thing in the movie that does.

Jolie plays a saucy tart named Julia Russell, a Baltimore woman who has exchanged correspondence with Luis Vargas (Antonio Banderas), a wealthy businessman in 1880 Cuba. Luis has invited her to Cuba to marry him -- not because he's in love, but because he wants a wife who is agreeable, pleasant, and of a child-bearing age.

So they get married and then fall in love after all. Things are blissful for two or three seconds, at which point Julia steals all Luis' money and disappears. And marrying a stranger seemed like such a good idea...!

Turns out Julia wasn't who she said she was, and Luis isn't the only one after her: A detective (Thomas Jane) is on the case, too. Luis is obsessed with the woman and can't stop loving her, despite her injuries to him; the detective seems to have a personal agenda, too.

This is a dull, languid film full of unsurprising plot twists and ludicrous soap opera-style melodrama. Banderas and Jolie speak in over-passionate cadences, making their characters seem even more aloof and unlikable. The last 15 minutes or so plummet into deep, disturbed absurdity. It's no wonder the film was delayed a year before it was released; MGM is now just cutting its losses and putting it in theaters, hoping to make a few dollars off a handful of poor, hapless souls.

And can we put to rest the notion that Angelina Jolie is a good actress? Like John Travolta and Keanu Reeves, she's riding on the success of one performance ("Girl, Interrupted" -- in which she played a crazy girl, which I'm sure was a tremendous stretch), and people are laboring under the illusion that she's actually talented. The woman sleepwalks through every role she plays, tossing out the lines like she's not even taking her job seriously.

The director of "Original Sin" is Michael Cristofer, whose only other feature-film credit is 1999's "Body Shots." If you had seen that dreadful movie, you would know that it existed only as an excuse to show people talking about and/or having sex. Cristofer has not branched out any. Twenty minutes into "Original Sin," there is a surprisingly graphic sex scene between Jolie and Banderas. It establishes that Julia and Luis are now passionately in love with each other -- and then, once it's established that, it goes on for a few more minutes.

All things considered, though, admirers of Jolie or Banderas might want to see the film just for that scene. Goodness knows there's no other reason to watch it.

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originally posted: 08/04/01 03:28:24
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User Comments

11/05/15 David Hollingsworth Original crap 1 stars
1/31/13 jcar a ok movie with good acting by joile and banderas, great sex scenes but that is it 3 stars
2/07/11 gloria enjoyable. 4 stars
10/16/08 veronika this bad movie has nothing common with great La Sirene du Mississippi by Francois Truffauts 2 stars
11/22/07 R.W.Welch Too convoluted to be taken seriously. Okay as pulp fiction. 3 stars
12/26/06 Darth Vader how can a man still be in love with such a whore??and jolie sucks with her porn lips 3 stars
11/09/05 Indrid Cold The setting elevates it slightly above complete blandness. 3 stars
10/07/05 Keshia Ramos Its one of my favorite movies 5 stars
6/01/05 tatum Rojas Zapatos Diarios; just by a copy of Celebrity Sleuth instead 2 stars
3/29/05 Vince I think it was all right. Nice atmosphere. 4 stars
5/31/04 Blakers a great film I loved it. 5 stars
11/22/03 jack cheap porn where you get to see boobs 3 stars
4/19/03 Amad Afzal It sucks! 1 stars
3/26/03 Jack Sommersby Telegraphs its plot turns and is way too slow. Interesting at first, though. 2 stars
11/26/02 Zargo it entertained me 4 stars
7/28/02 Butt almost unwatchable 1 stars
4/04/02 Soggy Bottom Boy Editing = BAD; AJ = nude; music = good; acting = so-so. Only watch if you're obsessed w/AJ 2 stars
4/02/02 George L. Friend Not a love story; not about love; all about lust 2 stars
2/28/02 Alan Smithee If you want to see Ms. Jolie nude, please rent Gia instead of this turd. 1 stars
1/14/02 Andrew Carden It Tries To Be Good, but Fails Totally, Leaving Behind A Bad Taste In Ya Mouth. 1 stars
12/10/01 Shaun Kelly A bad imitation of an Agatha Christie novel. Cheap,unsubtle changes in direction. 2 stars
12/03/01 Raymond Ocampo For a different feel of Hollywood stars instead of seeing them in typical Hollywood movies. 4 stars
12/02/01 Kelly I thought it was wonderful, steamy and enticing. It keeps you guessing to the end. 5 stars
12/02/01 Melanie Domingues altho a bit slow, the story was good...The actors did a grat job...Loved Banderas' butto 4 stars
10/08/01 rocksanne It freaking rocked 5 stars
9/20/01 The Red Queen I got in free and I still want my money back. 1 stars
8/25/01 Kathryn Weaver Wonderfully sexy! Very enticing for couples to see together!!! 4 stars
8/22/01 Gin Antonio and Angelina are the only reasons to go see this film. But that's enough for me! 2 stars
8/19/01 bett AWESOME!!!! 5 stars
8/11/01 Karen The reviewer has his head up his analogy. The movie is very good. 4 stars
8/10/01 Adrian angie...angie...angie... 4 stars
8/09/01 sdfk I actually liked the pacing of the ending commentary. Film was ok. 4 stars
8/09/01 daniel yep. pretty shitty. she's naked a bit though. 2 stars
8/07/01 malcolm one of the best non-X-rated sex scenes ever 3 stars
8/07/01 scully I have to say, phone book, Jolie, if she read it I would sit and listen. nuf said! 5 stars
8/07/01 Kurt Huber So bad that I think the producers owe everbody who saw it an apology 1 stars
8/03/01 Kimble Sexy Angelina 4 stars
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  03-Aug-2001 (PG-13)


  06-Dec-2001 (M)

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