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Mike is asked by a Las Vegas entertainer to come to Vegas. Mike refuses, he is then knocked out and dropped (literally) into Las Vegas. He is led to believe that the entertainer had him shanghaied, which the entertainer denies. Later the entertainer is blown up (literally) and someone has planted evidence that points to Mike. Mike then sets out to try and clear his name but everyone he goes to get information is killed and he is again the suspect. Can Mike find someone who can clear him and can he keep that person alive long enough to do so? Written by
Helen murdered both Johnny and Carl (not counting Brad's death) because they both stole money from the foundation in downtown Las Vegas prior to their deaths. That means Johnny and Carl both lied to American television audiences that they were donating money for the "Have a Heart" telethon charity at the beginning of this film. At the end of this film, Mike used Johnny and Carl's money correctly by tossing all of the dollars from Helen's suitcase into the Durant Clinic's telethon bin for Johnny's donation before returning to the New York City borough, Manhattan. See more »
Basic, distracting stuff that is like a poor photocopy of countless better films
Mike Hammer turns down an offer of work from Johnny Roman because it involves him travelling up into Las Vegas which he doesn't "do" being a New York kinda guy. However when someone snatches him off the street he wakes up in a plane just in time to be thrown out of it. Luckily for him they have put him in a parachute and, when he lands, he finds himself in Vegas. Johnny Roman denies it was him that brought him but explains what he wants him to do but Hammer still refuses. Within hours, Roman is murdered on live TV and planted evidence leaves the police in no doubt that Hammer did it. Out on bail, Hammer has no choice but to clear his name but finds himself drawn into more murder and mystery than he knows what to deal with.
I've not watched any of this film series but I quite like the detective genre and decided to try this out. In a way it works reasonably well but the one think you need to accept is that this TV movie will constantly remind you of better films and books and, at the end of the day, it is very much like a copy of genre staples. The plot is easy to follow but alludes to the complexity that the genre likes; at times it starts to get a bit tiresome as it throws obvious red herrings out to fill time but it is still engaging enough fare. The direction is very "TV" and the whole thing does demonstrate a limited budget throughout. Those looking for more than daytime TV stuff should avoid but it does just about distract on that level.
Matching the low-budget feel of the sets and script, the performances have the same sort of limitations. Keach walks around like a bear with a sore head in a character that countless others have done better. His narration is like a bad impression and his delivery isn't that better. The rest of the cast don't add much either. Carter isn't that convincing as the femme fatale type of character and everyone else sort of ticks the genre boxes but never rises above TV movie level the only one of interest is Jim Carrey in a "before they were famous" moment.
Overall then a very basic entry in the genre. Those happy to operate at the level of daytime TV movie and who like the genre should find this distracting. However it is hard to ignore that the whole thing is like a poor photocopy in every regard you can see everything, it is all just fuzzy and of a low quality.
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