Reviewed by John Weber
Rating: 9.5 Beans
t is hard to believe that "Showgirls" came from the same person that directed "Total Recall". Then again, it’s much easier to believe that "Showgirls" came from the man who directed "Basic Instinct", another film that went a wee bit over-the-top.
Paul Verhoeven’s opus on a stripper looking for a better life in Las Vegas (right!) is about as real-to-life as "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" - and the characters in Tune Town are a heck of a lot closer to human beings than the folks who populate this movie.
Elizabeth Berkley plays our exotic dancer-heroine like she’s in an episode of "Saved By the Bell: The Naked Years" as she trots off to find herself in Vegas (her character is named Nomi - no me! Get it? Subtle.) Within moments of arriving, she’s robbed, but finds her new best friend in a parking lot who gives her a place to stay, and gets her a job as a dancer. Just like that.
More plot? OK, if you insist. The viewer is subjected to roughly 35-thousand shots of naked female flesh. Nomi ends up in the chorus of a big Vegas revue. The star of the show (Gina Gershon) takes a liking to Ms. Nomi. Yep, that kind of liking. Then 35-thousand more shots of naked female flesh. Kyle MacLachlan, the casino entertainment director takes a liking to her. Nomi and Kyle do it in a pool, very loudly, and with a lot of splashing. All kinds of soap opera complications develop, none even remotely believable. Nomi turns ruthless in her attempt to climb the showgirl ladder and does bad things. Usually naked. Of course, the pseudo-morality of Joe Eszterhas’ script kicks in, and Nomi will learn from her horrible mistakes. Shame, shame.
The characters and situations are unintentionally laugh-out-loud funny, with the notable exception of a brutal rape scene involving Nomi’s friend Molly. That paradox is so typical of "Showgirls". Verhoeven shows us more skin than a bevy of dermatologists will ever see, yet there’s a great
big morality lesson waiting for us at the end of this picture. Hello?
"Showgirls" gives the NC-17 rating a bad name. As a legitimate film, it’s trash. As a comedy, it rivals "Airplane!".
Other reviews for this movie:
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