innocent_man: (slimshady)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Disclosure was one of a series of psycho-sexual thrillers in the 90s. The posters make it pretty clear that they were attempting to ride the coattails of Basic Instinct, even though they're very different kinds of movies.

Michael Douglas plays Tom Sanders, a computer exec in Seattle working for not-Microsoft who is passed over for promotion in favor of Meredith Johnson (Demi Moore), a competent, ruthless manager who also happens to be an ex-girlfriend of Sanders. Sanders takes a meeting with her, trying to get his manufacturing arm of the project back in shape, and she jumps him, trying to force him into sex. He fights her off and bolts, but doesn't tell his wife, and the next day he is accused of sexually harassing her.

Douglas turns around and sues her (and the company) for sexual harassment, and eventually wins when it turns out the whole thing was recorded. But in the meanwhile, he gets subjected to the same kind of shit that women in the same situation - you probably really wanted it, you didn't tell anyone immediately, why can't you just forget it, we all need to work together, this will cause problems for everyone, this happens all the time, it's not big deal, etc.

And then the movie takes this weird twist where it's not all about the harassment. It's about the company trying to get Tom fired because...reasons? The boss (Donald Sutherland) doesn't like him, but the way they're trying to get him out seems really Byzantine and unnecessary, and he winds up sneaking into a hotel room to use a virtual reality thing to look at files that will prove him not incompetent...anyway, then he humiliates Meredith in front of everyone by making her look stupid, she gets axed, he still doesn't get the promotion but someone who likes does, all is well.

The movie is based on a Michael Crichton novel, and really, it's basically the movie version of WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ. The fact that Sanders is objectively in the right helps, and right up until the harassment issue is settled it isn't so bad. Douglas even manages to get some drama going when he points out to his wife (who, by the way, is of the "this happens all the time, suck it up" school of thought) that he feels really out of control and violated. What I think is that casting a black actor in the role might have conveyed a little more of that, because I don't know that Douglas has a lot of experience in being this kind of victim, and that might be why he had trouble conveying it. But I dunno.

It's not a horrible movie, but it's not great and it was marketed badly because it's not sexy. The only sex in it is sexual assault, and that's not really sexy.

My grade: C+
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: District 9

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January 2013

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