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2003 - NR - 97 Mins.
Director: Jacob Tierney
Producer: Victoria Hirst, Dan Lyon
Written By: Jacob Tierney, Charles Dickens
Starring: Nick Stahl, Joshua Close, Gary Farmer, James Gilpin, Mike Lobel
Review by: Joe Rickey
The great Charles Dickens tale is haphazardly updated in the strange and depressingly ugly ‘Twist’, starring Nick Stahl from ‘Terminator 3’ and ‘In the Bedroom’ as a recruiter of sorts named Dodge, as the film tells the story of a gay prostitute ring run by a maniacal overlord who employs people like Dodge whose job it is to convince other lost souls to join the ring as employees of sorts. One person he recruits is named Oliver (Joshua Close) who rather quickly falls in love with the person responsible for recruiting him among other subplots that revolved around a person stalking Dodge relentlessly.

Updating the stories of classic literature has never been done with such carelessness as director Jacob Tierney shows with this adaptation of a classic novel. The film is so haphazardly plotted as to be at times, incomprehensible. The director lacks the necessary skill to make the film flow in such a way that the viewer doesn’t become disoriented or confused as to what is going on. The film’s narrative is so jumpy and disjointed that one wonders if the editing is partly to blame because it seems inconceivable that the film would be this way from the very beginning of filming. Tierney also seems to be in love with the dark and gloomy look he brings to world of drugs and prostitution that he lingers over every little detail of each and every scene so much so that the film’s pacing can charitably be called laborious. The film’s cinematography and overall look and feel is so trippy and artificially dark and dank that one can’t help but wonder if the director was just looking for an excuse to make a film that utilized a look akin to such films ‘Spun’ and the far better ‘Requiem for a Dream.’ ‘Twist definitely has the feel of a film that went into production without much thought put to the script and most of the attention focused on the look of the film.

The film’s actors suffer from this approach as even a talented performer like Nick Stahl can’t elevate a script that revels in clichés and lines that purport to be about something grand but instead come across as empty and the work of a screenwriter who is trying to be witty, profound, and affecting all at the same time without ever achieving any of the three aforementioned qualities. If a solid actor like Stahl flounders, one can only imagine how talentless actors like Joshua Close fair. He comes across as disaffected and uninterested; never bringing anything resembling thought and effort to the pivotal role.

Only so much can be accomplished on look alone in a film, and no film illustrates this point more so than ‘Twist’, a production so in love with its cinematography and art direction as to become intoxicating, and, in the end, dull and just plain boring. One can only hope that someone gives director Tierney some lessons in constructing a comprehensible narrative before he is allowed to direct another motion picture.
Movie Guru Rating
A train wreck.  So bad some may find it unintentionally entertaining.
  1 out of 5 stars

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