Jaded Joe

Joe Eszterhas is misunderstood. The guy who wrote "Showgirls" and "Basic Instinct" is always getting knocked for creating degraded women characters. Jade puts the lie to this: he can't create credible human beings of either sex. This tired "psychological thriller," directed by William Friedkin, has no psychology and few thrills. Linda Fiorentino (badly lit) plays a cool clinical psychologist who, unknown to her powerful San Francisco attorney husband (Chazz Palminteri), leads a double life as a call girl. Did she also murder a millionaire with an antique ax? That's what her lover, the ambitious D.A. (David Caruso), wants to know. What we want to know is why we should care about any of these stick figures. Eszterhas seems as bored with them as we are. He's just moving his dopey plot along, leaving Friedkin to fill in the gaps with car chases and irrelevant chinoiserie.