Basic Bridges has Close Instinct
When San Francisco heiress Page Forrester (Maria Mayenzet) is brutally murdered, ambitious DA Thomas Krasny (Peter Coyote) arrests her husband Jack (Jeff Bridges) in belief he is the murderer. Professing he is innocent Jack persuades Teddy Barnes (Glenn Close) to represent him in court who despite having quit criminal law agrees to with private detective Sam Ransom (Robert Loggia) helping investigate the case. But before the case goes to trial Teddy finds herself falling for the charming Jack and despite going against her ethics ends up in a sexual relationship with her client. But as the case progresses and evidence comes to light Teddy is caught in a quandary as having believed Jack innocent finds herself questioning what she believes.
Joe Eszterhas has written a few movies over the years but for me his most famous one is "Basic Instinct" from 1992 which saw a detective getting up close and personal with a woman suspected of murder. But of course this wasn't the first time Eszterhas has explored this idea of someone on the legal side of things ending up romantically involved with someone who is at the centre of a murder case as 7 years earlier he gave us "Jagged Edge". The thing is that watching "Jagged Edge" now you feel like it was a prototype, an idea for a sexy thriller which didn't quite pack the punch that the later movie did and so it doesn't have the same impact.
But feeling inferior to "Basic Instinct" is not the only issue which "Jagged Edge" has; the other issue is that it fails to provide the audience with suspects. Right from the word go we only have the one suspect which is Jack and so once the relationship starts between the two of them it is only going to ever be a case of Teddy first believing he is innocent then doubting it and so on and so fourth till right at the end we get either relief or revelation. There needed to be more possibilities to give the movie an extra edge to make it more than the relationship, the doubts and the significance of some typed notes which Teddy receives which have a raised character on them made by a specific Corona typewriter.
There is though something more which now doesn't work when it comes to "Jagged Edge" and that is the chemistry as for me it didn't work between Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges and certainly didn't feel convincing that they would end up together. Individually they are good and Close looks like she could be a corporate lawyer whilst Jeff Bridges certainly has a glint in the eye and a charming persona going on but there is no spark between them. It lets the movie down especially now when compared to those later thrillers which work with a similar storyline.
What this all boils down to is that "Jagged Edge" works the story of doubt in the courtroom and bedroom quite well but it just doesn't become electric and get you gripped by what is going on. That is partly because of the limited suspect options but also because the chemistry between Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges doesn't have the spark it needs to make the story come to life.