Color of Night (1994)

"How many times was he stabbed?" - Brad Dourif

Woof!  Too bad that LEAP OF FAITH was the title of a 1992 comedy
starring Steve Martin and Debra Winger, because that's what's required
to watch this incredulous howler starring Bruce Willis as-- of all
things-- a psychologist.  Not since the Reagan Administration has there
been an acting stretch of such magnitude!  Alas, Mickey Rourke, we
hardly knew ye.

Story opens with a campy kick-- Willis is treating a patient who
abruptly steps out of the window to take the best flying leap since
Charles Durning dove in THE HUDSUCKER PROXY.  She goes splat, he goes
ugh, and his character spends the rest of the film colorblind.  Really.
The good doctor then moves to sunny L.A., where he rooms with an old
college chum (Scott Bakula), a therapist who's getting death threats
from someone in his Monday evening group.

Buddy bites it in the second reel (no surprise there) and Willis agrees
to take over both the group and the death threats.  For his troubles as
Therapy Man, Willis gets to share some cut-from-NC17 love scenes with
THE LOVER's Jane March while dodging nails, cars, and rattlesnakes.

Why'd it have to be snakes?

COLOR OF NIGHT is the worst movie of the year. Period.  Forget NORTH,
CLIFFORD, or, heaven help us, even ON DEADLY GROUND.  Here is a movie
misfire so audaciously awful that you can't help but wonder how the
actors all kept straight faces while filming.

For starters, the "group" is a collection of mixed nuts better suited to
Bob Newhart than Bruce Willis.  These are realistic portrayals of the
mentally unhealthy?  Playing a prissy obsessive/compulsive, CUCKOOS NEST
alumni Brad Dourif, alone, may set the psychology profession back ten

The plot's a wreck with laughable dialogue, pointless POV shifts, and
the one Big Secret solvable in the first fifteen minutes.  Director
Richard Rush, who once helmed FREEBIE AND THE BEAN, doesn't seem to
mind.  Unfazed by the nincompoop plot and cuckoo characterizations, he
overfills the film with enough canny camera shots and zany set-pieces to
make the effort almost worth watching.  His token freeway chase is OK,
but the director has more fun with a vertiginous ending ala (most

Acting credits are across-the-board awful. Willis can be forgiven
because he's filming DIE HARD 3 as we speak.  But what about Ruben
Blades insulting presence as The Cop?  Or Lesley Ann Warren's
stereotypical sex addict?  Or Worst Offender Jane March as a
mystery-girl-who's-no-real-mystery?  Shudder.

NOTE:  Though I *do* look forward to Jeremy Irons as the villain in next
summer's DIE HARD 3, I certainly did not appreciate hearing him sing "Be
Prepared" through the thin walls of Durham's Willowdale 8.  That theater

BOTTOM LINE:    How they all kept straight faces, I'll never know.

Grade: F

Copyright 1994 by Michael J. Legeros

Home   |   Recommended   |   Reviews   |   Views   |   Letters   |   Links   |   FAQ   |   Search!

Please report problems to
Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros