Stone Cold

Jade masquerades as an erotic thriller

The only taste the director and screenwriter share is for continuous, rapid -- even palsied -- movement of both plot and camera. Jade does careen along, like a ruined car hurtling down a steep San Francisco street, shedding parts as it goes. It might have no brakes, there might be no one in control, its course might make absolutely no sense, but it's moving fast and crazily enough to command interest -- and of course there's always the prurient possibility of a major crackup.

If only the movie had truly, sensationally crashed at the end! If only it had remained true to its exuberant, nitwit baseness, instead of rolling harmlessly, as it does, into a narrative mud flat, where it sinks with a distasteful gurgle, like the last mammoth going down at La Brea. If only.

Jade opens Friday, Oct. 13, at area theaters.

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