I really don’t know what to say about Jade. It’s sort of like a lesser version of so many films done before. It resembles a poor man’s BASIC INSTINCT (written by Joe Eszterhas) with a poor man’s chase scene from THE FRENCH CONNECTION (directed by William Friedkin) in the middle of it. It is no coincidence that those two are the same writer and director of this film.
An important millionaire is murdered. The assistant DA, David Corelli (David Caruso) finds himself leading his investigative team on the case. They quickly discover a high class, underground prostitution and blackmail ring involving some highly influential people including the mayor (Richard Crenna of RAMBO fame). As they get closer, suspects keep getting murdered and the prime suspect happens to be an ex-lover and wife (Linda Fiorentino) to a close friend (Chazz Palminteri) of our protagonist. The investigation eventually leads to a car chase scene that while slightly intense becomes laughable. It goes on and on with outlandish stints which end up not having much of an impact on the story nor does the film provide much of an answer for it.
There are elements that generate intrigue and intensity but it all has been done before- ironically by the same guys. I really was hoping for so much more from Friedkin who directed THE FRENCH CONNECTION and THE EXORCIST. It’s almost insulting that he tries to pass this off as a thrilling murder mystery. Some scenes are pointless just to maybe throw the audience off a little but give no purpose to the story line. The ending is ridiculous as well, offering little resolution.
I’m not sure how David Caruso got cast as our hero but he has zero presence as a leading man. I think the film would have been better served if the roles had been switched between him and Michael Biehn, who plays a small supporting role and is far more established with a much better resume. Linda Fiorentino doesn’t quite give off the commanding sex appeal that is required and has nowhere near the presence as Sharon Stone did in BASIC INSTINCT, which came out just 3 years prior.
My favorite part of the entire film is the opening credits. During which an abrasive, heart pounding score by James Horner is played, which I believe has also been panned by most critics, was actually a strong point for me. As it’s played the camera slowly tracks its way through a mansion. We hear faint sounds of an argument somewhere inside. The camera acts as the viewer searching for the noise but gathering information as each step leads us closer. I loved the opening. It’s too bad that everything following could not keep up with the intensity and creativity of the first scene. Instead JADE follows an unoriginal formula that has been done better in almost every aspect.
Video: The transfer is quite poor with not much of a difference. The grainy quality is constantly visible throughout the film.
Audio: Nothing too special in the sound department, pretty basic.