Sliver (1993)


Phillip Noyce directs Sharon Stone, William Baldwin and Tom Berenger in this sex heavy mystery set in an apartment building with hidden cameras in all rooms.

Uneven and uncertain, Sliver is a terrible film on just about every level yet it proves campily enjoyable and occasionally even titillating if you demand nothing more from it than forgettable glossy beauty. Sharon Stone is saddled with a poorly conceived role of passive mystery solver, ethical voyuer and frigid career gal – her motivation and personality slalom about from moment to moment and she’s at her best when she just mentally goes “fuck it” and reprises her Catherine Tramell persona from Basic Instinct. The reshot second half is achingly obvious, with hairstyles and outfits changing between scenes that can only occur five minutes between each other. Three drastic makeovers in one murder heavy night for Shazza by the end. Any whodunnit? aspect is made a mockery of by the painfully obvious reconstructive surgery that has happened to the original plot. In fact the murderer’s identity doolally seems to have so little effect on the populating cyphers it is almost more like a seagull that randomly swoops in to peck at the dump we are staring at, rather than an internal motor to keep this ramshackle machine in motion. It also doesn’t help that Stone has the difficult choice of lovers / suspect between two distinctly unappealing leading men. There is either “might as well be wearing A Raper of Women t-shirt” Berenger, or Billy Baldwin’s creep, who at this point has lost his boyish looks and resembles a melted version of his more talented older brother Alec. This review reads like a 1, doesn’t it? Yet the costume design, sex scenes, surface level framing are all quite tasteful if you let the illogical context wash over you and, like I say, Stone is always extremely watchable even if she could easily be playing four different parts that just happen to all look like Sharon Stone. Shame this was the pinnacle of her stardom, she deserved better vehicles a la The Quick and the Dead. As it stands Stone and some upper class eye candy make this better than it has any right to be.


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