Margo's such Kidder, comic-book deep inaall her roles. In "Trenchcoat" Superman's super girl pulls on a largish London Fog and pretends to be Bogart in "The Big Sleep," but she isn't fit to wear his gumshoes. Her parody is parrotry, perky and pert.
Kidder plays Mickey Raymond (for Spillane and Chandler), an aspiring mystery writer who gets mixed up in a contrived caper on the island of Malta. After purchasing some postcards, she's nearly murdered for them, but zaps the bad guy with deodorant spray (the debuting screenwriters were former copy writers).
Next she's arrested by the local flatfoots, who connect her with a smuggling ring. She's kidnaped by Arabs, romanced by an Italian journalist and hot on the smugglers' trail by the time she meets a Maltese drag queen. (Seems films are naked without at least a little crossdressing these days.)
In general, Mickey covers the waterfront, exposing herself to Malta's meanest. But costar Robert Hays, like Superman, has a habit of showing up when she needs him. He trails her while she trips over the clues in her high heels, like actresses used to do in '50s horror films. There's lots more sleuthing and lots of suspects to choose from, but who done it is no mystery. In the end, Mr. Wonderful joins Mickey in a cutesy chase scene -- she doesn't know how to drive a stick shift. She's a very Disney dame.
"Trenchcoat" is scenic and slick: harmless, candy-coated fluff. You may have to look around to be sure you're not in your living room watching another made-for-TV movie. TRENCHCOAT -- At area theaters.