Not since Laurence Harvey in "The Manchurian Candidate" has there been a better mindless zombie on the big screen than Woody Allen in "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion."
Just say the magic word and a hypnotized Woody is suddenly transformed from an insurance investigator into a jewel thief, who burgles the stately homes of his own clients, and then chases his clueless self into the arms of a fast-talking Helen Hunt and the slow-witted Keystone Cops - as if Franz Kafka went round and round in a revolving door with the Marx Brothers and the Stepford Wives.
"Jade Scorpion" is all smiles on a summer night. Ill admit that I gave up on Woody Allen after "Deconstructing Harry," which seemed to me farcical Fellini and misbegotten Bergman, a sort of "8 1/2 Wild Strawberries" with sour cream. Which doesnt mean I stopped going to his movies; I just stopped expecting much.
To my amazement, he kept on making them anyway, as if he didnt care that I didnt care, or just couldnt help himself. But hes helped himself here, all the way back to "Bananas."
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