1996, R, 107 min. Directed by Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski. Starring Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano, John P. Ryan, Richard Sarafian.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Oct. 4, 1996
The impressive co-directing debut of the Wachowski Brothers -- Larry and Andy -- has lots of style to burn. What's more, they toss a few original twists into a familiar generic set-up and thereby create a thoroughly entertaining and stylish thriller. In Bound's twist on the Mob caper film, two women fall in love and plot to pilfer a cool $2 million from the unsuspecting mobsters. Gershon plays an ex-con named Corky who begins working as the handyman/woman in an apartment building controlled by the Mob. Immediately, she arouses the interest of the Violet (Tilly), the negligee-clad girlfriend of money-launderer Ceasar (Pantoliano). Corky's languidly muscular frame proves a turn-on for lipstick-lesbian Violet and, before long, the women are between the sheets and off on a great adventure. Together, they plan to heist the money from Ceasar and make their getaway, but of course such things never go as planned. Bodies begin piling up and the plans continually change to meet new exigencies. Not least of the women's problems is the abiding uncertainty about whether they can even trust each other. But, actually, the film's double-crosses and convolutions are pretty simple to follow. It's not the narrative as much as how the film looks that keeps Bound's spectators rapt. The Wachowski Brothers and cinematographer Bill Pope have created an eminently watchable film, whose hook has more to do with the way it looks than with what actually happens. While, for the most part, Bound is a seductive visual treat, there are times when you wish the filmmakers would just cut to the chase.