27 December 2018 | lor_
Fine Stormy script, deserved better casting
Stormy Daniels's rom-com "The Set Up" could qualify as a mainstream film script, as it would play just fine without the explicit sex footage. But such cross-over is still seemingly impossible in an industry where Adult Cinema remains ghetto-ized, so this Wicked Pictures feature (perhaps her last for the label after being under contract for over a decade) will have to do.
Plot concerns a pair of clever thieves, played by Lily Lane and Tommy Pistol, who use internet dating sites to rope in hapless male victims, humped by Lane on their meet-up date and robbed blind by her confederate Pistol. Star of the picture Tasha Reign befriends one of the victims, played by Michael Vegas, and concocts a sting plan to catch them and retrieve his stolen family heirloom watch, while simultaneously revenging herself on her philandering ex-boyfriend Seth Gamble. Instrumental in the plan is involving her cop roommate, played by lovely Olive Glass.
I enjoyed the situations and dialog quite a bit, as well as several hot sex scenes. But some key casting is deficient and prevents the movie from soaring. In Wicked's mainly post-contract era (Jessica Drake is still aboard, perhaps for life?) Reign is a poor substitute for one of the superstars of old, and in fact recent but since departed contractee Samantha Saint would have been a better choice. Reign is a pretty blonde but flat as an actress and not really distinctive amongst hundreds of similar blonde types. Among current stars Cherie DeVille is the closest equivalent and far more exuberant and appealing.
As always, Pistol gives a terrible performance, mainly smug and broadly dislikable (second only to Britain's vanity actor/producer Paul Chaplin of Bluebird Films fame in this negative department) and then hamming it up miserably when he gets tazed at the end of his criminal career.
Totally stealing the picture is Lily Lane as the villainess - a tattooed wonder who commands attention when on screen and is so full of life, up there with Alura Jenson on the animal magnetism scale. Cast as a pair of lesbians who live with Reign, Glass and lesbian icon Jenna Sativa are wonderful in support. Vegas annoys me as the nerdy hero, but his casting in features requiring some acting chops seems inevitable these days, given the lack of non-gonzo talent out there.
Shot by the great Jake Jacobs (and Andre Madness), picture looks great, far better than Stormy's recent efforts for other labels.