The Curse of the Jade Scorpion is a 2001 American crime comedy film written, directed and starring Woody Allen. The cast also features Helen Hunt, Dan Aykroyd and Charlize Theron.
Woody Allen stars as CW Briggs, the top insurance investigator in New York in 1940-or so he keeps telling the firm's new efficiency expert, Betty Ann Fitzgerald (Helen Hunt). Briggs prides himself on being able to crack any insurance caper by getting into the mind of the thief, but now, thanks to the hypnotic powers of the Jade Scorpion, the mind of a thief is getting into Briggs.
Woody Allen pays loving tribute to noir movies like Double Indemnity and The Big Sleep with this delicious comedy for grown-ups. This is the lightest of light comedies, silly but intelligently sophisticated.
If you enjoy man-versus-woman insult exchanges, Helen Hunt and Allen are never better; as Allen and Helen Hunt trade clever barbs back and forth I thoroughly enjoyed Allen's witty dialogue. Smart and fresh well have you rolling in the isles.
The cinematography and the visual setting for the film in jazzy 1940 is absolutely exquisite. The jazz soundtrack is, as usual, very "in tune" and fits very well with the clever screen-play Allen is telling. The film has a very stagey feel like it would have been suited to open on Broadway. This aspect of the cinematography, costume design, art direction really helps bring to life the aesthetic of the 1940's atmosphere.
The casting in the film was excellent
. There are supposed film "experts" out there who believe that Woody is too old for the lead in this film, and that it is unbelievable how Charlize Theron or Helen Hunt would ever fall for him. I fail to agree. Don't these people watch Woody Allen films ? The man always gets the women.
Although Woody is ageing, his performance was outstanding, not losing a step as he delivers wise cracks and witty comments, one after the other. Helen Hunt also performs flawlessly . Very refreshing to see a role that a first rate actress can get her teeth into. Woody should be congratulated for taken second spot for Helen Hunt to shine in all her Glory. The icing on the cake ! Charlize Theron playing a Veroncia Lake-lookalike was a real blast.
Her performance was seductive, Sultry and extremely sexy. She was tremendous.
This was vintage Woody Allen at his best. Thank you Woody, for yet another great funny , intelligent, witty movie.