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Cindy is tired of being treated like a little girl who needs men to come in and save her. Her brothers and dad were always doing that, so she got out on her own. She allegedly joined the police force, where she continues to be watched over by too-chivalrous men, to her annoyance. And yet, who can blame them? She shows up to "work" dressed like a barmaid at "Hooters", wearing enough to cover and accentuate her breast implants, and not much else.
The male cops on her team don't seem to do much either, though, so maybe you can't blame them for not wanting to rock the boat. They hang around the police station like they are, I dunno, actors whose only job in a softcore movie is pretending to care about the starlet, and are never remotely belieavable as cops. They look like extras from early episodes of "Friends".
Someone is killing prostitutes, so Cindy gets the job of posing as a prossy in a brothel and maybe catching the perp. This idea is idiotic, but a better movie could have gotten away with it without you thinking, for example, if the killer has already struck there, why would they expect him to come back when there must be many other brothels in the city. "Undercover", however, adds extra layers of idiocy: the madam, played by Meg Foster of the strikingly pale blue eyes, doesn't even know that Cindy is a cop. Why, or how, would they keep that a secret from her? It gets better though: Cindy is told by the Keystone Kops back at her station house that all the johns that come to see her have been selected by them so she won't have to actually do anything sexual. Um, that's understandable, but if that's the case, how is she going to catch the killer? Immediately, though, clients start coming to her who haven't been vetted by the kops. I guess it makes sense that they would stuff that up, inneffective as they seem.
One of these clients is a guy who just "likes to watch", by which I mean, he likes to watch TV. Sure, guys pay to watch women have sex. Not so sure one would pay through the neck to watch a porno on TV in the mid-'90s when videotape was in full bloom and so was cable. Why didn't they show him watching some of the softcore action the movie dishes up? That would have been a great opportunity to show Cindy exploring her sexuality - which is basically the movie's reason for existing. The sight of a guy watching TV really isn't that interesting, but in this movie, it is inexplicable.
Did I mention that Jeffrey Dean Morgan has a role? I didn't? Well, that's because he doesn't do much - certainly nothing to make you understand how he went from this to roles in "Supernatural", "The Walking Dead" and "Grey's Anatomy". He's often been compared to Javier Bardem, but here, he looks more like Brad Garrett from "Everybody Loves Raymond".
The movie culminates in perhaps the most unrealistic gunshot I have ever seen in a movie. We have a sound effect, a guy keels over, and it's done. The sound effect seems to come from behind you, not in front on your screen, and there is no attempt to really make you think a gun went off. The guy was apparently shot in the back, so why does he die right away? Why didn't the gunpowder make the room light up? Why doesn't smoke come from the barrel after it was fired? Oh, that's right: because it wasn't fired. The movie doesn't even try to make you think it was.
All this had me wondering if "Undercover" is "The Room" of softcore flicks. I hesitate to label it as such, though, because it's nowhere near as entertaining as that film. It does have the same bizarre "Twilight Zone" feel to it, however, where you wonder if what you're watching is actually meant to be as unconvincing as it is, and you start looking more closely at the actor's faces, expecting them to wink at you and show you, yeah, this isn't really as inept as it seems.
It is a softcore flick, and you might notice I haven't said anything about the sex scenes. That's because there's not much to be said about them. The movie really isn't erotic. The plot could have worked on multiple levels - I'd love to see this idea done by Almodovar, for example. It could have showed a woman cutting loose and discovering what really turns her on, while also being a comment on the way sex workers are treated by the men they encounter and how they are viewed by society at large, represented by the already-paternal police force. But instead it goes for the lowest hanging fruit, and what's worse, it doesn't even get it.
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