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Film review: Adjuster, The

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 16 1992 12:00 a.m. MDT

"The Adjuster" is another quirky Canadian film from Atom Egoyan, whose "Speaking Parts" played in Salt Lake City last year. His world view is bizarre, to say the least, but there is something undeniably amusing in his dark satirical take on suburbia.

Unfortunately, "The Adjuster" doesn't hold up for its entire length and much of it is played in such a flat, unemotional tone that the result is a real snooze.

Elias Koteas (whose biggest claim to fame so far is the first "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" film) stars in the title role as an insurance claims adjuster who goes out to view burning buildings in the middle of the night, then comforts the survivors the next day, while working up their claims. The ladies receive more than comfort after he puts them up in a fleabag motel.

Meanwhile, his wife (Arisnee Khanjian) works for the censor bureau, watching porno films (which we hear but never see) and secretly taping them for her sister to watch at home.

There is no real plot to speak of, though there is a central "situation," if you will. Koteas and Khanjian are approached by a sleazy filmmaker who wants to use their house as a location. When they let him do so, it proves to be an ill-fated decision.

But none of this does justice . . . if that's the word . . . to the world of writer-director Egoyan, who approaches everything uniquely, often with subtlety and always with a nod to the strange and sad. But in the end it's so vague and emotionless that the audience probably won't much care.

"The Adjuster" is rated R for sex, nudity and vulgarity.