A drug dealer shoots a corrupt police officer. Though the drug dealer admits his guilt, he pleads self-defense. His lawyer, Roland Dalton, and a "blue jean cop", Richie Marks, pursue evidence in his favor. They encounter difficulties from other corrupt police officers, drug dealers, and various street scum. Dalton's life is further complicated by the fact that the prosecuting attorney is a former lover. Written by
Melissa Portell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I met the love of my life... only I killed her dog before I got the chance to tell her. Man, she was everything I ever wanted. We met at Shakespeare in the park. Told her I was a lawyer. That line seemed to work for you. Rained like hell that day. I had an umbrella. We went back to her apartment. She went to the bathroom; I sat on the couch. She had this great big damned dog. Dog had a ball. I threw it. Dog brought it back. I threw it again... harder. I'll never forget the sound of that dog's ...
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Action packed tale benefits from the three dimensional characters.
Director James Glickenhaus (The Soldiers, The Exterminator, McBain) has composed a reasonably well constructed thriller with the usual spectacular action sequences and an interesting plot. This time though, the strong performances from the lead stars help propel Shakedown above the usual mundane low budget films. Peter Weller (Robocop, Screamers) is excellent as Roland Dalton, a frustrated attorney who must help defend a troubled youth who has been accused of murdering a police officer. However, there is more to the scene of the crime than meets the eye...
Sam Elliot (Road House) is grand as Richie Marks, a rogue police officer who is always at the wrong place at the right time. Marks and Dalton happen to form a "buddy-buddy" type bonding, and their investigation eventually leads knee deep into a conspiracy of corruption, deceit, and murder...
Shakedown is a decent action flick with an intriguing plot with enthralling plot twists and top notch action sequences. The fist fight aboard a moving roller coaster is a highlight and the extended vehicle chase through the streets of Manhattan is another highlight.
What makes Shakedown an exceptional thriller though, is the three dimensional performances. Peter Weller is definitely the performer worth watching in Shakedown. His convincing portrayal as a tough lawyer adds an extra depth of integrity to an otherwise standard "kill or be killed" actioner. Sam Elliot has his moments too as a cynical renegade cop who helps Weller expose corruption in the police department.
Shakedown is worth watching just for the high caliber performances from both Weller and Elliot. The action scenes are worthwhile as well. The only setback though is these action sequences are used a little too sparesly. The lack of a breathtaking pace destroys an almost superior thriller. Otherwise, Shakedown is an adequate film. This movie would benefit greatly with a faster pace, but the acting from stars Weller and Elliot make Shakedown a film worth a look.
RATING: **1/2 out of ****.
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