Testosterone (2004)

When I first saw David Sutcliffe play Christopher Hayden (Rory’s dad) on Gilmore Girls, I thought he’d be convincing in a gay role.

Not long after I arrived at that conclusion, I learned he was shooting Testosterone in Argentina with Antonio Sabato, Jr.

Huh. Antonio Sabato, Jr. and David Sutcliffe. Two pretty hot guys. In a gay-themed movie. Sweet.

But sometimes the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

Testosterone has been called noir-ish, and it’s true — all the characters strut around the story, sounding moody and hard-boiled. And the story of a pursuit reaches a vaguely grisly conclusion.

Sutcliffe plays Dean Seagrave, a graphic novel artist whose lover, Pablo Alessandro (Sabato), disappears one night. Determined to find closure, Dean heads down to Argentina to confront Pablo.

But a number of people stand in his way, including Pablo’s mother (Sonia Braga) and a brother and sister who send him on a goose chase (Celia Font and Leonardo Brzezicki).

As Dean gets closer to finding Pablo, he transforms from a forlorn, jilted lover to an unhinged tough-guy, and when he finds his closure, it isn’t clean.

The 110-minute movie goes by at brisk pace, not overstaying its welcome — which is nice because Dean gets annoying after his transformation. His caustic responses to the people he meets come across as whiny instead of edgy.

And while Sutcliffe bears quite a bit of skin over the course of the film — a nice plus for “admirers” as myself — it doesn’t distract enough from the fact his character isn’t engaging.

Pablo’s protestations in the end don’t paint him so much as evil as bratty. Dean may be killing the proverbial snake, but the justice behind the gesture rings hollow.

Testosterone starts off promisingly enough, and it could have been a good noir film. But Dean’s descent doesn’t have much depth, and the final come-uppance comes across as shallow.