the fresh films reviews

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Disclosure (1994)

Barry Levinson
127 minutes
Barry Levinson
Michael Crichton
Paul Attanasio
Based on the novel by:
Michael Crichton

Cast includes:

Tom Sanders Michael Douglas ½
Meredith Johnson Demi Moore
Bob Garvin Donald Sutherland ½
Susan Hendler Caroline Goodall
Catherine Alvarez Roma Maffia
Philip Blackburn Dylan Baker ½
Stephanie Kaplan Rosemary Forsyth
Mark Lewyn Dennis Miller



After Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and then Barry Levinson's Disclosure, Michael Douglas was closing in on serious typecasting as the middle-aged sex-addict who habitually got himself involved with mentally unstable women and/or femme fatales. After having been more than intimate with Glenn Close and Sharon Stone, he is this time almost able to say no to a wildly seductive Demi Moore. And this is largely the difference with Disclosure, because the film deals more with the results of not having sex than with the aftermath of an out-of-control sexual relationship. What hasn't changed, is that it is hot babe versus Michael Douglas, and that we're supposed to sympathize with the latter.

The direction by Barry Levinson is fine, even if he's not able to challenge himself to the same extent as he had done in his most successful films such as Diner or Good Morning Vietnam. Based on Michael Crichton's novel, the film is more valuable as a corporate drama than as a high-tech thriller - at least seen in retrospect. The technological visuals may seem both forced and ridiculous (especially Douglas' final "walk" in the corridor), but the thematic line has value and interest throughout. Douglas' good-boy persona becomes him surprisingly well, and Moore is a tempting seductress, even if her character turns out to be annoyingly stupid in the end.

The final scene is effective, utilizing fine cross-cutting and a delicate soundtrack by Ennio Morricone to good effect. The morality and message involved, in which the sex roles are reversed, is perhaps not as revolutionary as proclaimed, but then again Disclosure was released in the wake of Basic Instinct and the production company knew that the combination of Michael Douglas and sex was going to sell. "Sex is power", says the tag line. Eventually, it actually seems that lack of sex is power, but luckily Crichton's mystery isn't as impotent as the film's sell phrase.

Re-review: Copyright © 13.4.2009 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright © 25
.4.1997 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang