Swimfan (12)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/09/2002

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 86 minutes

Teenage version of Fatal Attraction, though not as much fun as it sounds - starts well, but ends up being derivative and annoying.

With the teenage remake of Dangerous Liaisons (as Cruel Intentions) and now the transparent remake of Fatal Attraction that is Swimfan (it used to be called Swimf@n, but Common Sense appears to have prevailed), you could be forgiven for thinking that it is currently all the rage in Hollywood to re-make Glenn Close movies.

Good Idea At The Time

In this case it probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but unfortunately, it doesn't really work, largely because a) it's a 12 certificate, for God's sake (translation: no nudity), and b) it succumbs to too much flashy editing and Scary Music at the expense of telling the story.

Jesse Bradford plays Ben, a high school student and star of the swim team, with a loving girlfriend (Shiri Appleby) and a promising future ahead of him. That is until he meets New Girl In Town Madison (Erika Christensen, from Traffic), who promptly seduces him in the swimming pool before going all Crazy Bonkers Mental and stalking him in true Bunny-boiler fashion.

Huge Pile Of Corpses

After that, you know it's just a short step from sending him saucy e-mail snaps of herself (her online name gives the film its title) to a Huge Pile Of Corpses, ticking off all the clichés along the way...

To be fair to the actors, they give it their best shot. Bradford makes an appealing lead in an 'At least he's not Ben Affleck or Freddie Prinze Jnr' kind of way and Christensen has the smouldering psychotic look down pat.

In fact, if it's 12-certificate-rated Shallow And Obvious Reasons you're after, you could do a lot worse.

High Pitched Screeching

Unfortunately, both actors are let down by Polson's over-the-top direction. The jump-cutting and other flashy editing tricks just get in the way, and the score is laughable, resorting to a high-pitched screech whenever Madison appears onscreen.

Having said that, the opening scenes are well-handled and it's entirely possible that Impressionable Teens will lap this up (it went to number one in the U.S, which admittedly isn't saying much). Even so, it's a sad state of affairs when Hollywood is reduced to remaking Adrian Lyne movies...

In short, Swimfan is watchable, largely thanks to the performances of its stars (both will hopefully go onto better things), but it's nothing you haven't seen done better elsewhere.

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Content updated: 21/10/2017 13:06

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