New Rose Hotel

Year 1998

Christopher Walken   as   Fox
Willem Dafoe as X
Asia Argento as Sandii
Yoshitaka Amano as Hiroshi
Director - Abel Ferrara
Screenwriters - Abel Ferrara
  - Christ Zois
Short Story - William Gibson  

It's been a long time since I've seen New Rose Hotel, but it was such a disappointment that I still remember it.

The premise is interesting enough. There is a competition among technilogical corporations for talent and the cream of the talent milk is coveted. Entrepreneurs have created a niche market as people who deliver talent to corporations for a fee.

Hiroshi (Amano) is working for the Maas Corporation but is wanted by the Hosaka Corporation. So Fox (Walken) and X (Dafoe) come up with a plan to get him to change employers. This plan involves seducing Hiroshi with Sandii (Argento) and then using Sandii as leverage.

This all takes place in the first few minutes of the film. After that, it's all about training Sandii while she stays at the New Rose Hotel. This part of the film is slow, dull, and rather boring. There's the whole Pygmalion thing going on and X may be falling in love with his creation and being blinded by love. But check out Pygmalion or My Fair Lady for a deeper treatment of that.

So, you sit there watching the movie waiting for something to happen. Walken, when he's on-screen, is having a blast and he's fun to watch. Dafoe is nearly as good. Argento may be good, but her role as courtesan in training wasn't that engrossing.

So you sit and wait. After all of this "Origins of Batman" stuff, there has to be a killer pay-off, right? You do feel for Fox, and X, and even a bit for Sandii. You want them to succeed. You want to know if X really loves Sandii and what kind of sacrifice he's willing to make for her.

So, we've got ten minutes of interesting premise and over an hour of the training of Sandii. Then, it's time to put the plan into action. Does Hiroshi come over? Does Sandii succeed? Most importantly, if something goes wrong, then what is Plan B for Fox and X?

The original plan doesn't work. "Oh, yeah," I think. "Now's when it'll start getting good. How are these guys going to handle what just happened?" End of movie.

End of movie? Really? Just when it was getting interesting? The high and mighty Fox and X have no Plan B? New Rose Hotel should have been a twenty minute short and not a ninety minute drawn out affair.

There's some nudity. Chick flick potential is weak. If you must watch this and don't mind missing the nudity, view the first fifteen minutes and then the last five.

Back to the "Torn and Frayed " list or the main movie list.