Run time: 92 mins
Production compaines: Cannon Group, Vision Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 30%
Fresh: 3 Rotten: 7
IMDB: 5.3 / 10
Director: John McNaughton
Producer: Steven A. Jones, R.P. Sekon
Starring: Rae Dawn Chong as Diana Pierce, Don Gordon as Charles Krieger, Tom Towles as Bob Laney, Antonio Fargas as Julius, Tony Amendola as Dr. Cheever, Richard Wharton as Alien Pilot, Tamara Clatterbuck as Michelle Chodiss
The Borrower, directed by John McNaughton (who directed Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, briefly mentioned in this film), is one more movie in this hoary tradition. Movies just like this air weekly on cable, so why do actors, writers and directors bother to make more? Why not just show one from a couple of years back that nobody saw?
Watching slash and gore movies has become a rite of American adolescence, like drinking cheap beer. No, it's lower than beer, it's like Jolt Cola. It's always the same sick formula: violence, gore, brief nudity, postmodern urban cops, de rigueur feminism (Rae Dawn Chong plays a macho, if incompetent, urban cop) and pop psychology.
The film contains several nauseating sequences in which the cops comfort each other with pep talks. I thought the gross-out sequences had jaded me, but when one cop tells another cop "You're too hard on yourself," I almost tossed my Mueslix.
The Borrower occasionally throws in social commentary and doesn't spare the harsh details of reality: the slop fed to the homeless, and the conditions under which criminals and the mentally unstable live. Even though they're ugly, seeing these things onscreen generates a sense of outrage that could be constructive.
However, the viewer must remember that movies like The Borrower do not offer constructive criticism, but rather contribute to a lot of society's problems. These films are cynical, depraved middle-American portraits that pander to anarchism and arrested adolescence. They do not engender sympathy for the unfortunate, but disgust for the society at large.