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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
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A cop goes undercover in a South Carolina high school. With the help of a local narcotics officer, he investigates the drug ring responsible for another cop's death. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I've never heard of this Cannon Golan / Globus production, but there were some enticing names attached to this late 80s project director / co-writer John Stockwell along with actors Barry Corbin and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The plot stays conservative, but it achieves what it sets out to do. A young Chicago cop heads south to go undercover with a small narcotic team in a South Carolina high school. There he goes about trying to get down just who killed his partner, while also breaking the local drug ring. It's quite straight-laced, little to no distractions (you know romance, conflict and popularity) that you might get with a feature where the story basis is set-up in a high school backdrop. "You're a hell of pitcher." Since it hardly strays, then it decides to build on its mystery (following up on the original investigation leads) and thriller elements, which is effectively pulled off. The material manages to stay one step-ahead, while going directions that one probably wouldn't expect and this is made more interesting for a good sense of place where the humidity shows and tension boils. Its narrative build-up is somewhat better than the final payoff, but its characters and certain dark edge keeps you hooked. A constant dangerous vibe lingers, while the humour is moodily low-key. Stockwell's streamlined delivery keeps on the move, but still there's a laid-back air to everything going on and a real authentic roughness. Now pull out those smoking, but elastic guitar riffs we would find in these 80s thrillers. Performances are suitably able with David Neidorf likable in the lead and his co-support Corbin is solid and Jennifer Jason Leigh is delectably spunky. Also there are good turns by David Harris, Kathleen Whilhoite, Brad Leland, Carmen Argenziano and a brief appearance or two by Mark Holten as one of the undercover agents.
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