(1996)3.5Jason ClarkA schlocky, B-movie concept given a stylish, undeniably exciting twist, this auspicious first feature from Andy and Larry Wachowski, (whose most notable previous screen credit was scripting the silly Sylvester Stallone-Antonio Banderas thriller Assassins) gives neo-noir a cheeky new life. It has the standard good guys-bad guys storyline, but the freshness of the film lies not in making our protagonists sexy lesbian women (though that creates much interest), but in the fact that the directors allow sufficient character development. The film is sexy without being smutty, visually innovative without being too in-your-face, and acted to perfection by a highly intuitive cast of performers. It received much notice for its admittedly steamy bedroom scenes between the lead females, but equal notice should be given to the taut, fiercely enjoyable storytelling which, despite the lurid subject matter, never feels exploitive or gives the impression of appealing only to the lowest common denominator. Bound's evocative visual style and color schemes would later present themselves in the Wachowski's 1999 mega-hit The Matrix.