Slow Burn

Rated 3.0

A crusading DA (Ray Liotta) learns that his assistant and lover (Jolene Blalock) has shot a man who raped her (Mekhi Phifer). But soon the story becomes much more complicated, and seems to involve a mysterious gangster who has been the DA’s prime target. The script by Anthony Walton and director Wayne Beach is so insanely convoluted that the characters speak in nonstop exposition, much of it none too elegant (“How would it suit your political ambitions if it were to come out that”), and Beach’s pacing tends to plod through the plot like a cooking-school student reading a recipe on the final exam. Still, the story is intriguing enough to hold our interest through all the film noir pretensions. The good cast helps: Liotta, Phifer, LL Cool J, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bruce McGill, Taye Diggs.