Critic Reviews



Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Although Newman is a delight, the best surprise in the movie is the performance of a new actress named Lolita Davidovich, who plays Blaze Starr. She has a comfortableness in the role that is just right.
Blaze is a celebration of the sporting life, as zesty as Cajun music and as tickly as a feather boa.
Boston Globe
If Blaze is a bit mushy, it's also more than skin deep. It's the kind of film whose shortcomings are easy to minimize. It's a muted last hurrah for a departed and worthy brand of populism, but a hurrah all the same. [13 Dec 1989, p.66P]
Chicago Tribune
Blaze is a high-spirited, though slightly botched follow-up to Shelton's appealing Bull Durham of 1988, drawing on the same combination of enthusiastic heterosexuality and cozy male bonding. Politics here takes the place of baseball in the earlier film: another all-American team sport, with its veterans and rookies, official rules and unspoken scams, high idealism and casual corruption. [13 Dec 1989, p.1C]
Blaze has been beautifully photographed by Haskell Wexler in the soft, lulling colors of the Louisiana countryside, against which Ms. Davidovich's amusingly garish costumes stand out as markedly as they're meant to. The costumes, by Ruth Myers, are particularly good, with ice-cream-colored suits for Mr. Newman that allow him to dominate the film visually just as surely as he dominates it dramatically.
Blaze turns out to be quite an amusing floor show, the kind of silly, factually irresponsible burlesque that makes you laugh in spite of yourself.
Blaze is hugely enjoyable, with fluid, sensual camera work by Haskell Wexler and Ruth Myer's cheerfully outrageous costumes that savor every inch of Davidovich. There's a real feeling about Long's henchmen, Gailard Sartain in particular, as the aide who hates what Blaze is doing to the boss' chances, but grudgingly comes to admire her spirit. But Blaze is also puzzling. It peaks too soon, and having teased us with these legendary characters, it goes almost prim when it comes to seeing them in action.
Shelton obviously wants to distill something innocent and romantic from a relationship the world saw as sleazy. A noble mission. But he's left out a few essentials — like the facts.
Blaze may be the least sleazy movie about whoring since The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Paul Newman stars as Louisiana governor Earl K. Long in this sanitized romance adapted by director Ron Shelton from the autobiography of Blaze Starr, the Bourbon Street stripper who supposedly stole Long's heart.
Miami Herald
A lot of the charge, the pow and zap of Earl's life seems to be missing. The performance has but a single note, and after the novelty of Newman as cracker wears off, there's not much else there. [13 Dec 1989, p.D1]

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