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Film / Blue Steel

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Blue Steel is a 1989 crime thriller directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Ron Silver, Clancy Brown, Louise Fletcher, Elizabeth Peña, and Kevin Dunn.

Megan Turner (Curtis) is a rookie NYPD officer. When she stumbles upon a grocery store holdup, shooting and killing the perpetrator (a young Tom Sizemore), his weapon is taken by Eugene Hunt (Silver), a Wall Street trader who both discovers that he enjoys killing people and becomes infatuated with the female cop. Hunt manages to start a relationship with Megan, but when she finds out he's the killer they've been looking for, a cat-and-mouse game ensues, as the psychopath turns to increasingly violent means to try and evade capture.

Not to be confused with the 1934 western film of the same name starring John Wayne, or with Derek Zoolander's look.

This film provides examples of:

  • Amoral Attorney: Dawson.
  • Ax-Crazy: Eugene Hunt is a commodities trader and by all outward appearances a normal person, but under the cover of night he goes on a killing rampage after he acquires a .44 Magnum from a robber whom the protagonist, rookie cop Megan Turner, shoots early in the film. By the final act of the film he has gone completely ballistic and shoots and kills Megan's friend and later sneaks into her house, strips himself completely naked and brutally rapes her shortly after she has consensual sex with a fellow officer.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The gun used by the robber Megan takes down gets stolen by an unstable bystander and so begins our story...
  • Domestic Abuse: Megan's father, who disapproves of his daughter becoming a cop, mistreats his wife. Megan eventually arrests him for domestic abuse.
  • Hearing Voices: There's a scene that shows just how unhinged Eugene Hunt is when he's working out in his apartment, then starts screaming at voices that aren't there.
  • Inconveniently Vanishing Exonerating Evidence: The plot is set off by the main villain stealing the gun of a robber the protagonist shoots, getting her suspended since there's no evidence he was armed.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Eugene Hunt declares that he and Turner are two sides of the same coin.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Rookie cop Megan Turner has to play a cat and mouse game with a homicidal psychopath who is infatuated with her. The guy threatens most of the people close to Megan, including killing her best friend and gravely injuring the veteran homicide detective who falls in love with her, and even rapes her, but he manages to stay out of custody each time because he's also a respected businessman and they can't offer enough proof despite Megan's testimony. She only ends up defeating him by engaging in a public shoot-out in downtown Manhattan, where she guns him down in cold blood. So her career's probably ruined, most of her friends are dead, and the movie ends with the shellshocked Megan staring blankly ahead as her colleagues pick her up and escort her off the scene. On the plus side, Hunt is dead and is no longer a threat to her.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: In an early scene Megan is engaged in a training scenario at the police academy. She kills the kidnapper after he grabs his hostage, but is then shot and "killed" by the hostage herself.
  • Villain Over for Dinner: Megan goes to her parents' home to find the killer she's investigating has invited himself there, claiming to be an old friend.
  • Yandere: Eugene Hunt is psychotically obsessed with rookie cop Megan Turner after he witnesses her gunning down an armed robber, and thinks they are soulmates. When she rejects him upon finding out that he's a murderer, he proceeds to kill her friends and anyone else close to her, and eventually rapes her.