This movie based upon the short story from William Gibson has been battered around for a while, mostly for director Kathryn Bigelow, until ranter/auteur Abel Ferrara took over. This wasn’t a good thing.
In this quasi-present/near-future, X (Willem Dafoe) and Fox (Christopher Walken) are a pair of freelance corporate espionage agents who specialize in defections. Their unreachable goal is Dr. Hiroshi (Yoshitaka Amano), a bio-engineering expert and super-genius. His defection from the Maas Corporation could net the pair $100 million.
They soon chance upon Sandii (Asia Argento), a beautiful young prostitute in Tokyo. Fox has the brainstorm to train her to seduce Hiroshi into leaving his current life behind. X teaches her how, but is seduced by her instead.
What do you know? Not everything quite works as planned. Was X betrayed by Sandii, or was it somebody else?
Damn, it’s painful to watch Ferrara’s downhill slide into incoherence. He used to be one of the most exciting and unpredictable independent filmmakers in America. You could never tell what would happen in one of his films. Now, you have trouble just understanding what’s happening. A long way from “King of New York” or “Bad Lieutenant”, his last flick, “The Blackout”, wasn’t even released in the U.S. Ferrara barely attempts to establish any parameters or location for this film’s world before launching into some muddled film noir.
Anyone hoping for either a definitive (or even decent) adaptation of a Gibson work will have to wait a little longer, but probably not as long as it will take for Ferarra to get his act together.