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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Lightning Strikes Twice

Copycat on IMDb

Plot Overview

owl and booksgirl on computerold men playing
chessRetired shrink Dr. Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver) lives alone in a multi-level “helluvan apartment” over­looking the SF Bay. She hasn't left it since her nervous break­down thirteen months ago; she now suffers from agora­phobia. In the den are shelves of books galore, a tripod-mounted tele­scope, cards arranged for solitaire, and a chess­board set up ready to go. She plays online chess with an adversarial opponent who lacks the social skills to come out and play in the real world, and she haunts chat-rooms for mind­less prattle with other home­bound broads. She has three computers, a police scanner, a tele­phone with multiple extensions, and a tele­vision set in every room. She gets the news­paper delivered right to her door. This is her world. She misses men; her gay “assistant” Andy (John Rothman) doesn't count.

/ friendship hierarchiesHer unsolicited advice to the SFPD concerning tie-ins among three recent killings (“Nobody in this department has ever worked a serial case before”) brings to her door female homicide inspector M.J. Monahan (Holly Hunter) and her side­kick Reuben Goetz (Dermot Mulroney.) MJ with her dominant personality, found she was unable to maintain a relation­ship with another cop, though with her cutie looks she could have takers. She falls back to a vibrator. Good looking Reuben is slow with women and too shy & bashful to try any­thing with MJ beyond their developing friend­ship. He wears loud ties to compensate. Women call him up. Routinely. MJ thinks of him as a “boy.”

College News

woman teachermiddle age manboy and girl
on computerFitting the serial killer profile Dr. Hudson had developed on her past college lecture circuit is SF resident Peter Foley (William McNamara.) He's a “White male, aged 20 to 35, quiet, unassuming, … nice.” Holds down a job, makes a decent neighbor, and earns his victims' trust. He's married to an affectionate babe, but his interests lie else­where (“what turns on a serial killer is the suffering and death of another human being.”) His techie job made him computer-savvy. He's skilled enough to break into a home. Helen's home. With whom he wants to have some “fun,” the kind of fun that had earlier left her deranged.


Dr. Hudson tells a class, “The FBI estimates that there could be as many as 35 serial killers cruising for victims even as I speak.” They just don't know. It's as (Eccl. 8:11) “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, there­fore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” They are not easily caught. Targeting strangers and planning meticulously makes it hard. It takes a task force, which takes time. They'll have a good run at least and maybe age out and lose interest. (“Did any­one ever catch the Zodiac, sir, or did he die of old age?”)

discipleship(Eccl. 8:12-13) “Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him. But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.” Say, these killers get practice on a hundred victims. They've got their modus operandi down pat. It's still not going to end well with them. Killer Daryll Lee Cullum (Harry Connick, Jr.) says, “I'm just like Jesus. I've got disciples, too.” They learn from him. He tells his partners, “a disciple must be strong … if he is to succeed where others fail. Peter strayed from the path and the Lord smote him good.” They learn from others' mistakes.

MJ on the other hand is a God-fearing officer of the law. Policy is to shoot for center mass if she's in a deadly confrontation, but she shoots to wound. She is commended because, “You haven't taken a human life. Your karma is still good.” Her fellow officer Nicoletti “Nico” (Will Patton) excuses him­self on account of, “some­thing I did in another life.” MJ rejoins, “Probably some­thing you did in this one.” Better keep those books up to date. MJ is characterized as, “one of those people who think all things happen for a reason. We're all God's chillon.”

Production Values

” (1995) was directed by Jon Amiel. The script was written by Ann Bidder­man and David Mad­sen. It stars Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter and Dermot Mulroney. Weaver and Hunter were sympathetic characters who played well their parts. Hunter wore her hair in a bushy pony­tail that accentuated the height difference when she was looking up at her junior partner played by a tall Mulroney and next to her boss played by an even taller J.E. Freeman, both of whom she got her way with. It's an interesting effect and a feminist's wet dream, if you'll pardon the term.

MPA rated it R for violence and language [one “g.d.”] The plot is barely plausible and the police procedures a joke, but the tense drama rates it a second viewing. It's full of homages, left and right. The sound­track is eerie and the cinema­tog­raphy evocative. Some trick camera shots showed a distorted world from the pill-popping lady's perspective. The plot itself used whitey music, i.e. “Murder by the Numbers” by The Police band, “I Think I Love You” by the Partridge Family—which the black cop said was “driving me crazy,”—and some kind of opera playing for the house­bound lady. For that matter, serial killers tend to be race-specific targeting their own. In the lecturer's show–and-tell, she show­cased white males of a certain age being, some of them, a danger to the women in her class predom­in­antly white. I don't think this was racist per se as with three races in the lecture hall, and two sexes, the variations would jam up the time had they all been gone over. We can figure it out. Runtime is 2 hrs.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This movie came out in 1995 right about the time feminists were having second thoughts about women finding their ful­fill­ment in the work­place. Here we see he-women working with she-men. Toxic masculinity is on an uptick of violence, while the domestic sphere is left out in the cold. It's some­what along the lines of what George F. Gilder writes about:

Without a durable relationship with a woman, a man's sexual life is a series of brief and temporary exchanges, impelled by a desire to affirm his most rudimentary masculinity. But with love, sex becomes refined by selectivity, and other dimensions of personality are engaged and developed. The man him­self is refined, and his sexuality becomes not a mere impulse but a meaningful commitment in society, possibly to be fulfilled in the birth of specific children legally and recognizably his. (35)

The dangerous society depicted here enhances the suspense in a thriller where the face of the killer is shown, but not every­thing about him is known. This movie would have been more memorable had it not been competing with other thrillers that came out at the same time.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quotations were taken from the Authorized Version. Pub. 1611. Rev. 1769. Software.

Gilder, George F. Sexual Suicide. New York: Quadrangle, 1973. Print.