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Interesting Initial Design Of Story Gives Way To Incoherence, With A Plot line Burdened With Cliché.
A rather ill-chosen title for this work unfortunately is upon a level with a screenplay that makes heavy weather of its narrative as climactic scenes approach, despite solidly achieved general production values and a capable cast that seems for the most part to be working according to its tyro director's plotting arrangement. It appears that Joey Bradley (Clayton Rohner), a budding architect, is having a day that is turning out poorly: he unjustly fails to gain a promotion with his firm (a decidedly curious plot element that has no apparent connection with the remainder of the tale), and when he enters his apartment he discovers that a dead man is in his shower stall and that a mysterious audio tape has been placed within his telephone answering unit. This tape relates a message from his father, Charles Bradley (Anthony Zerbe), a newspaper editor who is preparing to publish an exposé of the local police department that will reveal department personnel trafficking in narcotics that have been purloined from police property storage. The found body is of a private investigator who planted the tape immediately before being slain, it being intended to be heard by Joey, thereby drawing him into the scandalous affair. The p.i.'s killer is Detective Ryan (Ray Sharkey) of the police force who spends the remainder of the film in clumsy attempts to assassinate the younger Bradley while endeavouring to seize the audio tape in order to obviate information upon the tape for its department-damning nature. In the course of fleeing from a persistently homicidal Ryan, Joey is run down by a young woman driver, Jenny Fox (Talia Balsam), who then brings him to her apartment for the ostensible purpose of dressing his wounds, succeeded by the ineludible bonding of the two in a passionate relationship as together they attempt to ascertain who is trying to murder Joey, and why, Jenny's support being much welcomed by her harried lover who is doggedly determined in his efforts to triumph over the sinister Forces of Evil that confront him. The film received a very limited theatrical showing and has not been readily available for video viewing, and that in VHS only. John Dahl contributes heavily to the script, and his input is telling through a customary Dahl use of irony. It is a briskly paced item, although its final episodes create a constraining effect upon the whole, as these scenes are formulated with but paltry flair, being little more than part of an elaborate attempt to wrap up loose ends that would best be left unravelled. For his initial essay at helming a feature film, director Nigel Dick, a pop music video producer, opts here to exploit his own musical numbers as background during Joey's flight from impending extermination. Unfortunately, this is also where an effectively dramatic mood that had been established during the work's beginning segments is dissipated, and where a well-ordered scenario falls into hackneyed action trumpery. Among the largely able performances by the players shall be noted those by Talia Balsam and, in particular, Sharkey whose to be expected sleepwalking persona is appropriate for his role as an ineffectual assassin.
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