The Way of All Flesh

The fact that Kyle MacLachlan still has an acting career after slumming through Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and The Flintstones ought to encourage even the least talented performers out there to keep on plugging away. If Kyle MacLachlan can make it, anyone can. And Robert Davi sinks to new depths of sleaze as he sleepwalks through a bit part as an acne-scarred, blowjob-obsessed strip-club owner; nice to see him stretching from his usual roles as sleazy drug dealers and sleazy wise guys. Hope he cashed his check and got out of town quick enough to avoid losing all his dough at the gambling tables. Only sultry Gina Gershon and L.A. Law's Alan Rachins seem to realize what a shlockfest they're in, engaging in some over-the-top fun with their characters.

Releasing a major-studio (in this case, United Artists) film rated NC-17 is a gamble. If the film's quality has any bearing on its financial potential, this movie likely will crap out. But these days a movie often makes or breaks its fortune during its opening weekend; this picture's backers are obviously hoping their aggressive, suggestive, so-dirty-we-can't-even-show-you-a-single-scene publicity campaign will attract enough curious ticket buyers to break the bank before word of mouth leaks out. Too bad. Strip clubs and Las Vegas are two venerable American institutions. Showgirls does neither of them justice. After all, why waste $6.50 on a badly executed celluloid lap dance when you can get the real thing for only five bucks?

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