The 1995 film that will ever be referred to as "that crappy movie that David Caruso left "NYPD Blue" for", JADE has a talented director, a decent cast and demented screenwriter on its side.
Caruso stars as an assistant DA drawn into a gruesome sex tinged murder at a rich art dealer's massive San Francisco estate.
If you're thinking, wow that sounds a lot like "Basic Instinct", you are right. It's written by the same guy, Joe Eszterhaus. He can be very entertaining when he's on (Basic Instinct, F*I*S*T) and very bad when he's off (Showgirls...need I say more?)
Caruso is drawn into a very nasty web of politics, sex and power when pictures of the Governor (Richard Crenna) and a young woman entangled in bed are found in the art dealer's safe.
Even worse, the closer he gets to the murder suspect, more and more evidence begins to point to his ex-girlfriend Trina (Linda Fiorentino) who is now married to David's good friend Matt (Chazz Palmenteri) who happens to be the District Attorney.
The story plays like a vulgar retread of "Instinct" but its raised to another level by its director William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection).
Friedkin equals his 'French Connection" car chase with a wild ten minute pursuit through and WAY over the streets of San Francisco. I haven't seen cars gain this much altitude since 'The Blues Brothers" and its a fantastic action sequence, kicked off by one of the most realistic hit and runs I've ever seen.
Friedkin also tees up some nice suspense in the closing moments, but his big reveal isn't that much of a shock and a final, final twist just kind of peters out into the end credits.
At least Caruso manages to not look into the camera and take his sunglasses off as he unleashes a one-liner like he would do 1000 times on CSI:Miami.
Friedkin hoped this would be his big comeback film at the box office, but in sunk miserably and quickly, dragging Caruso's movie career with it, earning just $9 million against a $50 million budget.
Eszterhaus said Friedkin changed his script so much that he demanded damages, the studio gave him a $4 million payout. Friedkin admitted he rewrote the film and said that JADE was one of his all time favorite films that he made. He was shocked when it bombed.
Snooze. JADE gets an unpolished C.