By Leah Rozen
June 14, 1999 12:00 PM

Brendan Sexton III, Kate Hudson, Casey Affleck, Christina Ricci

Sophomore slump strikes again. Desert Blue is the second film by director Morgan J. Freeman (not to be confused with the actor—Kiss the Girls—of the same name), and it’s a disappointment after Hurricane Streets (1997), his terrific first film.

Blue has a talented cast, but it’s a shambling bore. Sexton III plays a disaffected, parentless teen stuck in a tiny desert town in California. He pals around with other bored teens, including an explosives-happy pal (Ricci) and a visiting TV actress (Hudson, daughter of Goldie Hawn). Nothing much happens beyond the fact that early on the kids all have lousy hair but seem to discover shampoo by the end. In a film this inert, such a change qualifies as a significant development. (R)

Bottom Line: It’s arid all right