Blue in the Face - *

Plotless and pointless improvisational sequel to the superior film, Smoke. After wrapping the former film, director Wayne Wang, and his star Harvey Keitel, liked it so much that they decided to shoot an on-the-spot sequel in 5 days. With very little script, just situations, director Wang just let the actors improvise dialogue. The actors partaking in this exercise include holdovers from the first film, Keitel and Giancarlo Esposito, as well as newcomers Michael J. Fox, Roseanne, Madonna, Lou Reed and Lily Tomlin. Unfortunately, most of the improv sessions simply do not work. They just involve pointless and boring dialogue between shallow characters that are simply uninteresting. Even as insights into a sort of actor’s workshop, the film loses interest quickly. The only redeeming factor in this film are snippets of documentary-ish footage of Brooklyn, its residents, and certain Brooklyn issues such as the departure of the Dodgers and the prevalence of Belgian Waffles. These, especially when compared to the rest of the film, add a spark of life and freshness. My recommendation….Watch Smoke, and forget Blue in the Face.

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