Color of Night (1994) starring Bruce Willis, Jane March, Rubén Blades, Lesley Ann Warren, Scott Bakula, Brad Dourif, Lance Henriksen Kevin J. O'Connor directed by Richard Rush Movie Review

Color of Night (1994)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Bruce Willis in Color of Night (1994)

Clashing Colors

When a patient he has been treating decides to jump to her death from his office window psychiatrist Bill Capa (Bruce Willis - Striking Distance) begins to doubt himself and heads to L.A. for a rest and spend time with his old friend and fellow psychiatrist Bob Moore (Scott Bakula - Mercy Mission: The Rescue of Flight 771). On arrival Bob introduces him to a group of patients he is treating in a group session before also telling him that he has been receiving threats. When Bob is murdered Bill finds himself not only dealing with his friend's patients but also the cops investigating the murder whilst also embarking on an affair with the pretty Rose (Jane March).

What is the difference between a comedy-thriller and a thriller-comedy? It is not just the sequence of words but also the fact whilst comedies which also have a thriller element work those which are thrillers first and try to be comical second fail. That is a big part of why "Color of Night" whilst not the terrible movie many would have you believe is barely average because it is a thriller which tries to be oddball and funny but fails to balance it.

Jane March in Color of Night (1994)

Ironically all the individual pieces work they just don't work together. Take the thriller aspect, it's not the most well put together and certain aspects are pretty obvious, in fact some hysterically so, but it is not the worst thriller in the world. There is some mystery and some well executed shocks but it often feels too distracted by being quirky.

And whilst I am on the sort of positives the acting is not the worst in the world either. So yes some of it is cheesy but each of the actors play their characters well even if the characters don't fit in to my idea and many people's ideas of what characters in a thriller should be.

But then there is the humour and we have some extremely quirky characters in the group session all of which have obvious comical elements. There is also a plethora of comical one liners such as when someone crashes into the back of Bill in his car his response is "nice of you to run into me". All of which is funny stuff but it doesn't go together with what often feels like it is meant to be a serious erotic thriller.

And as I mentioned erotic thriller I might as well say yes there are some steamy scenes some of which are nicely shot but these are not shocking even the swimming pool sex scene. What is more shocking is the level of violence we get to see with plenty of blood being sprayed everywhere.

What this all boils down to is that "Color of Night" is a mess as it is all over the place, at times a serious thriller at others a comedy but because it is a thriller first and comedy second the mix just doesn't work.