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Review byMatthew Turner7/12/2005

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 94 mins

Comedy thriller that’s not especially funny or thrilling, despite the efforts of a decent cast.

The Background
The fact that Scorched was made over two years ago (back when Rachel Leigh Cook still had a career) and is only now getting a theatrical release should tell you everything you need to know. Indeed, it’s the sort of film that has straight to video written all over it and it’s hard to see why it’s getting a release at all.

The Story
The film is set deep in Nowheresville, Southern California and stars Alicia Silverstone, Woody Harrelson and Paulo Costanzo as three disgruntled employees of the Desert Savings Bank, each of whom is planning a separate heist over the course of an eventful weekend.

We know that at least one of the robberies is successful, because the film opens with new employee Doleman (Marcus Thomas) arriving for work on Monday morning to find the place in chaos. The film then flashes back over the increasingly bizarre chain of events that lead to the robbery.

The Good
Scorched has its moments, thanks to the efforts of an impressive cast. Silverstone, Harrelson and Costanzo make likeable leads and there’s strong support from the always-watchable Krumholtz. John Cleese is funnier than he’s been in a long, long time as the hunting-obsessed millionaire Mr Merchant and there’s strong support from Rachel Leigh Cook as a Dungeons & Dragons-playing flatmate.

The Bad
Scorched is quite cleverly plotted and has a great premise, but the execution leaves something to be desired. The comedy is extremely broad and there’s a slight air of desperation to the whole thing, as if the film is trying too hard to be quirky and likeable.

The Conclusion
In short, Scorched is both likeable and watchable, although it’s nowhere near as good as it should have been. However, it is worth seeing for the sight of Rachel Leigh Cook dressed as Xena: Warrior Princess, if you like that sort of thing.

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Content updated: 19/10/2019 01:44

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