Retro Film Review: Crowned and Dangerous (1997)

in #filmlast month

(source:imdb.com)

Having comparative advantages isn't enough for people to succeed in life. They are worthless without opportunity to use them or other people being aware of it. This truth faces protagonist of Crowned and Dangerous, 1997 television thriller directed by Christopher Leitch. By most standards, Danielle Stevens (played by Yasmine Bleeth) is attractive young woman. This isn't enough for her mother Cathy (played by Jill Clayburgh) who wants the whole world to know it and sends Danielle to any beauty pageant imaginable. There is one permanent obstacle in Stevens' path - Shauna Langley (played by Cassidy Rae), another California beauty who just happens to win each of those contest, leaving Danielle as eternal runner-up. Danielle stoically puts up with it until Shauna steals her rich boyfriend Rick Baxter (played by George Eads). This puts Danielle over the edge and she gets determined to bring her man back and win coveted title by any means, including the most brutal ones.

Yasmine Bleeth, actress best known for her role of scantily dressed beach rescuer in Baywatch, probably marvelled at opportunity to display her best qualities while playing very different and much darker character in this film. In Crowned and Dangerous she indeed plays it very well, but her attempt to broaden her career isn't helped by inept script. The beginning, which satirically deals with beauty pageants phenomenon and its dark sides, works as black comedy. Somewhere in the middle it all turns into deadly serious crime mystery with routine and uninspired ending. Although Bleeth looks great, her and others' true potentials aren't properly used in this film.

RATING: 4/10 (+)

(Note: The text in its original form was posted in Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.films.reviews on March 11th 2004)

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