"Disclosure", which deals with the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, is the third film in eighteen months to be based on a novel by Michael Crichton (the other two were "Rising Sun" and a little film called "Jurassic Park"). Like those films, the new film by director Barry Levinson ("Bugsy") is a densely-plotted thriller, filled with twists and turns. Of course, you're more likely to see them coming in "Disclosure" than you were in those other films, but that doesn't detract too much from the fun.
Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas), an executive at a high-tech Seattle company named DigiCom, loses out on a big promotion to an outsider named Meredith Johnson (Demi Moore). Although they haven't seen each other for years, Tom and Meredith were a hot item once upon a time. Now a family man, Tom has put his lothario days behind him, but Meredith has kept a flame of passion burning for him.
Soon after she arrives, Meredith invites Tom to her office after normal work hours so that he can bring her up to speed on company business over a bottle of wine. It quickly becomes apparent that Meredith has more on her mind than the computer peripherals DigiCom develops. Tom fends her off as best he can before momentarily giving in to her desires. But he is able to snap out of her spell before the sexual hijinx go too far, leaving Meredith seething. She yells after as he makes his hasty exit that she will kill him of he doesn't come back and finish the job. Later that night, Tom wears a t-shirt to bed to hide the scratches on his chest.
Hoping the situation has blown over, Tom goes to work the next morning only to find himself at the receiving end of a sexual harassment claim. Meredith has apparently decided that the best defense is a good offense. Although he claims to be the victim in the case, he has trouble getting others to believe him because he is a man and, besides, why would Meredith lie?
Seeing that he is being railroaded out of the company and knowing that he should be the one pressing charges, Tom hires a lawyer to pursue his case. She accompanies him to the arbitration the company has recommended and both sides have agreed to. The end of the arbitration, which is sullied by an embarrassing "it could only happen this way in a movie" moment, is by no means the end of the film.
"Disclosure" is as slick and glossy as thrillers come. Predictable, yes, but undeniably entertaining. Douglas plays his part to perfection although one would have hoped that a stronger actress than Demi Moore had been cast opposite him. Funnyman and recent Emmy-winner Dennis Miller has a small but enjoyable part as a DigiCom division head whose sarcastic attitude renders him nearly indistinguishable from Miller's TV persona.
Although it's not quite in the league of top-notch thrillers like "The Fugitive", "Disclosure" is a fine adult drama. The timeliness of its subject matter can only add to its appeal.