Scudder is a detective with the Sheriff's Department who is forced to shoot a violent suspect during a narcotics raid. The ensuing psychological aftermath of this shooting worsens his ... See full summary »
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Rebecca De Mornay,
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Canada 1931: The unsociable trapper Johnson lives for himself in the ice-cold mountains near the Yukon river. During a visit in the town he witnesses a dog-fight. He interrupts the game and... See full summary »
Peter R. Hunt
A policeman takes his twin brother's place and inherits his problems and a beautiful girlfriend. He is forced to kickbox his way from France to the U.S. and back while playing footsie with ... See full summary »
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
Scudder is a detective with the Sheriff's Department who is forced to shoot a violent suspect during a narcotics raid. The ensuing psychological aftermath of this shooting worsens his drinking problem and this alcoholism causes him to lose his job, as well as his marriage. During his recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous, he meets a mysterious stranger who draws him back into a world of vice. In trying to help this beautiful woman, he must enter a crime-world of prostitution and drugs to solve a murder, while resisting the temptation to return to his alcohol abuse. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Ashby More Familiar With Substance Abuse Than Crime
That was what I took away from this film. The depiction of alcoholism is stunningly accurate-- thanks in part to Jeff Bridges, of course, but I think the main source of this reality was director Hal Ashby's own experience with drug abuse. This element of the film plays out very well. Unfortunately the actual story is a crime mystery, not a strict character study of an addict. And the crime mystery is very, very weak. After a classic film noir set up in the first third, we are immediately shown who the villain is and what he's up to. Which doesn't really leave us with much of interest for the last two thirds of the film. For example, by the time Bridges reveals the "Big Secret of What's Really Going On" to the other characters we are not surprised at all, even though the scene is played out as a pivotal point in the plot.
I think that if the film had been more skillfully edited, we would have had a story that was both artistic as a character study and involving as a crime story. Maybe if Ashby hadn't been so familiar with substance abuse, he wouldn't have been fired from the film after principal shooting and we could have seen the film as he intended.
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