V.i. Warshawski

A strictly standard-issue private-eye caper based on Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski novels set in Chicago; the plot (script by Edward Taylor, David Aaron Cohen, and Nick Thiel) is simplified Raymond Chandler by way of simplified Ross Macdonald, complete with so-so imitations of some of the former’s wisecracks salted with a feminist twist. The whole thing benefits from spunky Kathleen Turner as the lead and suffers from patchy direction by Revenge of the Nerds’s Jeff Kanew; Jay O. Sanders (as the heroine’s sometime boyfriend), Charles Durning (as a police lieutenant ally), and Angela Goethals (as a 13-year-old Warshawski winds up representing and protecting) manage pretty well under the circumstances, especially considering Randy Edelman’s awful music. (JR)

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