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For an actress who claims to wear a vial of her hubby’s blood around her neck, it must be hard to find characters whose kinkiness might top her own. Original Sin doesn’t trump Angelina Jolie’s own reputation, but it does contain a few erotically overcharged moments worthy of midnight-movie status. There are skin, blood, spit, guns, copulation, and masturbation, sometimes juxtaposed in amusingly histrionic ways. Jolie’s character seldom seems far from orgasm, yet the movie is neither the scorcher it means to be nor the howler that was expected after it spent more than a year on the shelf. Adapted from a Cornell Woolrich novel by writer-director Michael Christofer—who also worked with Jolie on the junkie-lesbian fashion-model romp Gia—the tale mates coffee baron Luis Vargas (Antonio Banderas) and American mail-order bride Julia Russell (Jolie) in a humid Cuba where the African-style drums rarely stop beating. He is who he says he is, but she, of course, is not. Since plot twists provide the film’s principal locomotion, it would be unfair to reveal much of the scenario, except to say that passion, greed, and betrayal are forever jockeying for position within the souls of Luis, Julia, and the mysterious American who identifies himself as a detective (Thomas Jane). With its earnest eroticism, overt symbolism, feverish montages, and flashes back and forward, the movie recalls films of the late ’60s and early ’70s, especially those of Nicolas Roeg. (The film contains so many echoes of 1970’s Performance—as well as 1980’s Bad Timing and 1983’s Eureka—that the main character might as well have been named in honor of Roeg’s leading lady, Theresa Russell.) The final twist, however, is disappointingly innocuous. Despite all its intimations of erotic apocalypse, Original Sin doesn’t go all the way. —Mark Jenkins