Bound

Does anyone else out there have a terrible time taking Jennifer Tilly seriously, no matter what role she plays? Well, I do, and her performance in Bound is no exception to the rule.

Here, Tilly plays Violet, a mobster’s wife with a plan to make off with $2 million of the Mafia’s money. Enlisting the aid of Corky (Showgirls‘s Gina Gershon), your everyday laborer/lesbian-next-door, the two ladies play a game of double-cross with the mob, with Violet’s husband Caesar (Risky Business‘s Joe Pantoliano) set to take the fall.

As you might expect, it doesn’t quite go according to plan, and as the bodies stack up, the stakes get higher and higher. If this sounds familiar, you’re probably recalling Fargo, which is structured almost identically, but which is realized to a level of near-perfection that Bound is sorely lacking.

Bound is a stylish thriller, emphasis on style. Writers-directors-brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski use an avant-garde and downright bizarre photographic motif of the extreme close-up variety. On the one hand this is interesting, and on the other it is quite annoying. The Wachowskis’ style is so dynamic that it literally feels like the viewer is being pushed around, making Bound a participative experience, like it or not.

And to be perfectly honest, I’d rather not. Placing much more energy into ‘looking cool,’ the script ends up falling a bit flat in areas where a little more complexity could have been used. Most notable in this regard is a dropped-in-your-lap ending that feels as if someone just forgot about it until the last second.

But there’s a lot of meat between the opening credits and that — Pantoliano is a lot of fun as his now-instantly recognizable trollish tough guy, and the noirish feel to the picture really keeps you on the edge of your seat. Fans of the thriller genre will probably be moderately pleased, as I was, but will leave hungry for more.

Laundry day.