If Looks Could Kill (1996)

Antonio Sabato Jr. in If Looks Could Kill (1996)

Catch Hawkins if You Can

John Hawkins (Antonio Sabato Jr.) is a dangerous charmer, a good looking man who uses his sex appeal to sucker both women and men before conning them. But Hawkins disappears after his biggest scam when he claims a $1 million insurance settlement on his business partner's death. It leads to frustration for Det. Peter Stanford (David Keith) who has been trying to catch the elusive con man for a long time and leads him to approach John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" to help profile Hawkins on his show.

Have you watched "Catch Me If You Can" with Leonardo DiCaprio, if not it is the tale of a con artist who masquerades as various people whilst becoming a master forger. In a way "If Looks Could Kill" is similar but instead our con artist is a sexual predator who uses his good looks and sexual appetite for men and women to lure them in and con them. And whilst I don't know how close Antonio Sabato Jr. is in looks and mannerisms to the real John Hawkins he certainly has the looks to pull of the deadly charmer who is indiscriminate when it comes to his sexual conquests from an older woman on a plane to a woman who works in one of his stores.

Brad Dourif and Maury Chaykin in If Looks Could Kill (1996)

And likes with "Catch me If You Can" we have the dogged detective in the shape of Peter Stanford, played by David Keith, who makes it his mission in life to track down and arrest Hawkins especially when he pulls off the huge insurance scam which involves his business partner dying.

The thing is that whilst both the scams which Hawkins pulled and his ability to evade capture along with the attempts to capture him are interesting the way the story comes across is a bit OTT. What I mean is that Sabato Jr. plays Hawkins as so slick and such a charmer that at times the movie feels like it is swimming in grease. It is just a bit too much and scenes of Sabato Jr. lounging by a pool in some budge smugglers or seducing a woman on a plane is all a bit too cheesy.

What this all boils down to is that "It Looks Could Kill" is interesting because of the nature of the true story on which it is based and the audacity of Hawkins' scams. But in playing Hawkins as a slick charmer it often veers towards the cheesy.