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Joanne Moore Jordan
A movies special effects man is hired by a government agency to help stage the assassination of a well known gangster. When the agency double crosses him, he uses his special effects to trap the gangster and the corrupt agents. Written by
A movie special effects man is running for his life in "F/X," a 1986 film starring Bryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Jerry Orbach, and Mason Adams. Strangely enough, the movie also features two actresses from my alma mater, Diana Venora and Josie de Guzman.
Rollie Tyler (Brown) takes on a rush job for the government - they want it to look as if their primo informant (Orbach) has been murdered to take the danger out of getting him to the courtroom and protecting him afterward. But like Rollie's work, things aren't what they seem, and Rollie finds himself on the run.
Despite its name, F/X isn't a big movie, and the special effects are things you can see on any television show. What makes it unique is the way Rollie uses his wits and skill to elude those after him. One of the most exciting scenes occurs as Rollie, in his F/X van, careens through the streets of New York, using every trick he knows to get away from the police. Not your average car chase.
Australian actor Bryan Brown, who achieved fame and a beautiful wife from the miniseries "The Thorn Birds" is terrific as the desperate Rollie. Brian Dennehy plays a rogue cop - he's funny and effective, and the late Jerry Orbach, whose career spanned stage, films, and television, is the perfect mob informant.
F/X inspired a television show of the same name starring Cameron Daddo and also a sequel. For a little movie, it did quite well, managing to entertain with drama, humor, and thrills. It's a lot of fun.
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