After a four-year hiatus following the disastrous Revolution, Al Pacino made a much-hyped return to the screen with this steamy thriller in which he plays a burned-out cop tracking down a serial killer whose victims are chosen from the personal ads of a local magazine; he’s soon falling in love and into bed with the number-one suspect (Ellen Barkin), a dangerous and beyond ill-advised affair that recharges him with lust, passion and a dramatic renewal of purpose (nothing like getting laid by a hot and possibly psychotic blonde to put a spring in a man’s stride!). While Sea of Love is beyond preposterous, you can’t deny the smoldering chemistry between Pacino and Barkin (and their sex scenes are pretty damn impressive); while Pacino got to enjoy a successful comeback, Barkin was hailed as Hollywood’s latest sex symbol (now that she wasn’t upstaged by Dennis Quaid, as she was with The Big Easy two years earlier). Pacino and Barkin reunited 18 years later in Ocean’s Thirteen and they seem more than a little embarrassed in their scenes together, as if they’re recalling the on-screen passionate writhing in which they once indulged. Barkin’s Big Easy co-star John Goodman also has some great moments as Pacino’s partner and the film’s more amusing scenes involve the two cops responding to the personal ads and going on dates with potential suspects.
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