Curse of the Jade Scorpion is another Woody Allen period piece like The Purple Rose of Cairo and Zelig. Woody Allen started out making funny movies and he is now back at it. Curse of the Jade Scorpion is a funny story crossed with a bit of film noir. Best in Curse of the Jade Scorpion is the interaction between insurance investigator Allen and efficiency expert Helen Hunt.
The plot is that Woody Allen is the insurance investigator for an insurance company but also a security expert. David Ogden Stiers, of MASH fame, is a hypnotist in a club and he manages to hypnotize Woody Allen and make him do his bidding. S
uspicions soon fall upon the Allen character because he is the only one, aside from the homeowners, who was familiar with the various security devices he installed. Watching Woody Allen playing is usual nervous and neurotic self is not much of a thrill but he always manages to make his neurotic character work within the movie he sets himself in.
Best in Curse of the Jade Scorpion is the scenes between Helen Hunt, who is not that removed from the character she played in Mad About You, and Woody Allen. The dialogue between these two characters, who are quite a match, is a series of funny jokes and funny one-liners, a whole bunch of zingers that somehow seem to be in character.
Woody Allen favorite Wallace Shawn is of course in Curse of the Jade Scorpion, as is Dan Aykroyd and very funny stand-up comedienne Judy Gold.
Curse of the Jade Scorpion is perhaps not Annie Hall but it is also not Zelig or some of the more self-indulgent and frankly too Woody Allen Woody Allen movie. It is quite enjoyable