Street Sisters

Kari Wuhrer in Boulevard (1994)

After being raped, abused and having a baby by her violent boyfriend, Jennefer (Kari Wuhrer) flees the hospital after giving birth and putting her child up for adoption. She heads out on the bus ending up on the streets of Toronto where street prostitute Ola (Rae Dawn Chong) takes pity on her and allows her to return home with her to wash and rest up. Eventually Jennefer ends up working as a prostitute to in order to pay the bills, working for Hassan (Lou Diamond Phillips) a nasty pimp who treats his girls badly. When Hassan ends up killing one of his girls it not only leads to a detective on his case but also the prostitutes. But for Jennefer there is always the fear that her abusive boyfriend will find her.

I'd never watched "Boulevard" prior to recently but it reminded me a lot of the sort of movies I ended up watching on late night TV as I was channel surfing, the sort which wanted to deliver a drama out of the gritty city streets. And in fairness it certainly has a storyline which sees an abused woman on the run from her violent boyfriend ending up working as a hooker for a violent pimp. The thing is that whilst we have are abused woman dealing with the nightmares of her beatings and a cop after a violent pimp there isn't that much more when it comes to storyline or depth.

That lack of depth also presents itself as an issue when it comes to the characters as Jennefer ends up extremely inconsistent as she goes for screaming acting child like in a blink of an eye. Ola is not much better and I began to wonder whether the chip she had on her should was more Rae Dawn Chong being annoyed at having to make this sort of movie. About the only genuinely decent performance in "Boulevard" comes from Lou Diamond Phillips because as Hassan he gets to be as sleazy as he wants and he certainly goes to town to make him a loathsome character.

What this all boils down to is that "Boulevard" is in truth pretty average for when it was made but doesn't hold up too well when watched now and in truth is the sort of movie you only watch if you are struggling to sleep and resorted to channel hopping.

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