Now an insurance adjuster, former C.I.A. agent John Pope becomes the target of both Mafia and C.I.A. hitmen. Pope is the last of the secret agents who can ruin a money laundering ...
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Now an insurance adjuster, former C.I.A. agent John Pope becomes the target of both Mafia and C.I.A. hitmen. Pope is the last of the secret agents who can ruin a money laundering collaboration between a corrupt agency leader (Kirkpatrick) and a Mafia boss (Matera). Written by
Brian Whiting <firstname.lastname@example.org>
LITTLE HERE FOR THE MIND, BUT A GOOD DEAL FOR THE EYE.
John Pope (Tom Ormeny) is a former CIA operative whose past haunts him in this weakly-written work created by its producer, Louis Pastore, who also co-scripts and plays a principal part. Pope was involved in a Government conspiracy to assassinate Frank Matera (Pastore), a Mafia chieftain but, unknown to John the hit did not happen, being a ruse allowing Matera to disappear from public view by moving to Sicily. He and CIA supervisor of field operations Neil Kirkpatrick (Clifford David) had an established liaison whereby the Mob kills selected political figures that the intelligence agency wants cancelled in exchange for the laundering of Mafia moneys. Matera, wearying of his exile, has returned to the United States where he and his cohorts begin to eliminate all who know of his relationship with the CIA, to include Kirkpatrick and Pope, a situation that the latter naturally attempts to avoid. Pope, utilized as a patsy by the spy agency, is later released from its employ, and is working as an insurance investigator tormented by lack of knowledge relative to his being fired. His concerns are soon refocussed upon survival and he essays provisional connections with others who were duped for the same bogus assignment. Domination by logic seems to be not a concern of the writers who supply a peck of vague subplots in a movie manifestly affected by intemperate cutting for its release print. Although some of the story is set in Hungary, pine barrens in New Jersey are its proxy, with sectors of the Garden State and of Brooklyn hosting most of the shooting that makes good use of a snowy season. David always projects well and his performance stands out, and more could not be asked from other capable players who are effective in supporting roles, including Matt Craven, Al Mancini and Becky Ann Baker (as Becky Gelke). Heading the film's failings is a trite script, full of incongruity and cliche. Unfortunately, the director is answerable for the scenario as co-author. An electronic score, mired in one key, is irksome and obtrusive. The best for last: the camerawork from cinematographer Eric Kollmar, of the highest standard throughout the work, constitutes the only compelling reason for watching it. With deft use of long and deep focus shots, in addition to his excellent setup and lighting skills, Kollmar somewhat diffuses the staleness of this affair, with so many creatively interesting shots that viewing this film without sound is a valid aesthetic experience.
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