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Shattered Takes a Black-and-White Tradition Into Color

When Shattered opened in theaters in 1991, a lot of mainstream critics sniffed that its convoluted plot was “ridiculous.” But what were they expecting from a movie about a wealthy businessman reconstructing his life after a near-fatal car accident leaves with no memory? Maybe the reviewers were thrown off by the fact that the movie is in color, but Shattered is a film noir through and through.

Unlike fellow Euro émigré Paul Verhoeven (who was mining similar territory in the early ’90s with Basic Instinct ), director Wolfgang Petersen (Troy, I n the Line of Fire ) here resists the temptation to poke fun at the outlandish twists and turns of his plot. As Tom Berenger’s wife, Greta Scacchi makes a fetching femme fatale, while the bulldoggish Bob Hoskins steals the show as a more lighthearted version of the dogged investigator played by Edward G. Robinson in Double Indemnity . So the shadows are purple instead of gray. Suspend your disbelief (and longing for a simpler palette) and enjoy the show.

Shattered plays tonight, Thursday January 24 at 11 p.m. | 10C. Click here for the movie’s full schedule on AMC.

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