China Moon is a 1994 murder mystery.
6 out of 10 stars. This is a copycat film of Body Heat. In Body Heat, a millionaire’s wife plots to kill her husband with her attorney lover. But the whole time she’s setting up the lover to take the fall for the murder and her murder when she fakes her death. Although I like Body Heat better, this was pretty good too.
Kyle Bodine, homicide detective, meets Rachel Munro at a bar, not realizing she’s married. He sees her again in town and invites her on a date. They go to a lake and skinny dip and end up making love. They start an affair and eventually she tells him she’s married. He urges her to leave her husband.
A few nights later, there’s a domestic disturbance call at her address. He and his partner answer the call. Rupert, her husband, has beaten her in the face. (That part is real. Rupert really beats her.) They leave without arresting Rupert, but already Kyle is on record as knowing Rachel.
She buys an illegal gun and tries to break off her relationship with Kyle. Rupert has been cheating on her with a bank employee and she was getting even. Kyle keeps pursuing her then one night she calls him after she’s shot Rupert twice. She begs him to help her cover up the murder so he does. They dump the body in the lake and after a couple of days, she reports him missing.
Here’s where it becomes obvious she framed him. They conveniently find the body even though Kyle weighted it down. The bullets pulled from the body match Kyle’s 38 not the 9mm gun she used. And Rupert was apparently alive when they dumped his body in the lake. He died from drowning. So Kyle actually did kill him.
Kyle’s partner Lamar discovers Rachel has had a string of lovers, so he thinks one of her lovers killed Rupert. And actually she did. She got Kyle. Now Kyle is spooked and takes his gun to a shooting range to compare bullets. He’s relieved when the bullets from his gun do not match the bullets retrieved from Rupert. Then Lamar shows up saying the gun he surrendered was a different serial number from the gun he has registered. And, of course, the registered gun was the gun used to kill Rupert.
Kyle finally realizes he’s been set up, but he recognizes the compass on Lamar’s dashboard as the one in the photos at Rachel’s house of Rupert kissing his lover. The person who took the photo had the same compass, the same dashboard. It was Lamar. He’s in on it.
Kyle confronts Rachel and she tells him Lamar planned the whole thing, but she fell in love with Kyle and tried to back out of it. By then it was too late. Rupert’s mistress was in on it too.
The film ends with Kyle meeting Lamar to get his gun back. Lamar sets him up and the police shoot Kyle. Distraught because she really did love Kyle, Rachel kills Lamar. $20 million goes to the lawyers and Rachel goes to prison. Not the ending I wanted.
6 out of 10 stars. Body Heat had a better twist and a better ending.