Dina Meyer in Crimes of Passion (2005)

A Passionless Crime

A woman putting on sexy lingerie as mysterious whilst sexy music plays, "Crimes of Passion" starts with almost a sense of "Basic Instinct" about it but it is not "Basic Instinct" sexy but more "Disclosure" sexy, which anyone who has watched "Disclosure" will know isn't that sexy. That is not the only thing which "Crimes of Passion" shares with "Disclosure" because here we have a movie whose first half is all about a sexual harassment case. But as I mentioned first half that means that in the end this movie is about something else and unfortunately it doesn't take you long to realise what it is about. And when it comes to that something else, well lets just say it's not very good, in fact it is too obvious and so makes "Crimes of Passion" at best barely an average TV thriller.

When one night in the bar Jerry Dennings (Jonathan Higgins) makes a sexual comment to colleague Rebecca Walker (Dina Meyer) he realises his mistake and goes to her hotel room to apologise. Next day Jerry is hauled in front of his boss and the head of legal as Rebecca has accused him of attacking her in her room stopping short of rape because of her screams. Fired and with his marriage in shreds as his wife Shannon (Amy Sloan) refuses to believe him Jerry sues for wrongful dismissal and wins as evidence comes forward that Rebecca has filed several sexual harassment claims at previous companies. But is all as it seems and will company investigator Schaffer (John H. Brennan) work it out.

Jonathan Higgins in Crimes of Passion (2005)

Whilst "Crimes of Passion" has many of the usual problems which come with being a TV movie, especially some poor dialogue which is as equally poorly delivered in a less than believable manner it does start well. The whole set up as Jerry is accused of sexual harassment is played out nicely both at the office and at home where we learn 4 months earlier he had been having an affair. And as we feel that Jerry is innocent when it comes to his lawyers attention that Rebecca has form for filing sexual harassment cases you sort of feel this has worked out nicely. But wait check your clocks you're barely half way through "Crimes of Passion" and the whole sexual harassment side of things is wound up where could this be going.

Now I have to say spoiler alert although what I am going to say is very obvious but if you don't want to know, skip this paragraph. What follows is that we learn Jerry and Rebecca are in cahoots, it is one big scam they have had planned for a long time to walk away with millions. But Jerry starts receiving anonymous envelopes with photos of them together and we learn that company investigator Schaffer is on to them. If you can't work out that this is all going to be about a lot of double crosses and basically who is screwing who then you haven't watched enough movies. Unfortunately not only is it obvious but also too convoluted with several elements where you have to ignore sensible reasoning and accept some serious use of dramatic licence. The trouble is that it is hard to and by the time "Crimes of Passion" ends you will be groaning.

The thing is that whilst "Crimes of Passion" has a long list of problems, none of them are any different to what you will see in other TV movies. We have thin characters, false dialogue and actors delivering it in a soap opera style way, in fact some of the camera work feels very soap opera-ish. It's not a criticism as such because the style works for the movie but it also makes it ordinary, similar in style to so many other TV movies and after a semi suggestive opening it is a let down.

What this all boils down to is that "Crimes of Passion" is really just another average TV movie. Whilst it is technically a thriller it is more fun than thrilling because it becomes convoluted and a bit laughable by the time the credits roll.