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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Agreeably dumb...

Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
16 May 2008

Michael Crichton directed this flighty, flimsy cop-show starring Burt Reynolds as an officer framed for murder. Crichton, who did not pen the script, seems a curious choice to helm such second-rate material, but he makes something enjoyable out of it--even though one is inclined to scoff at the plotting and outrageous incidents in place of laughing (I did both). Laid-back Burt is positively enervated, yet he actually does the picture a favor by playing it so low-keyed (Crichton's general handling is outré enough). Completely outlandish, though it contains some surprising bits of humor and an odd little nasty streak which is intriguing. It's a guilty pleasure, with Crichton chortling in the background. ** from ****

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Very jagged, not much edge

Author: TrevorAclea from London, England
30 June 2008

Physical Evidence is one of those films that you want to like but really should be a lot better than it actually is. Developed as a sequel to Jagged Edge for Glenn Close and Robert Loggia, it gives the impression that all involved only made it while they were waiting for something better to come along. The premise is perfectly serviceable, it's mostly technically efficient if horribly uninspired with even Henry Mancini's musacky score surprisingly pleasant, but you can't help feeling that things would have turned out better if one of the leads had turned out to be the killer (as is rumoured was originally the case). As the opening scene of his little-seen, personally disastrous Heat (1986) showed, Reynolds has all the makings of a great screen villain. As is, there are few surprises and a feeling of half-hearted filming by numbers as it builds up a head of intertia as it ambles disinterestedly towards a less than grand will-this-do? finale.

Reynolds is fine, sailing through on charisma in what is clearly a star vehicle. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Theresa Russell. An impressive and fearless actress in husband Nic Roeg's films which allow her to delve into the darker side of human nature, she's trapped in a part that requires star quality rather than depth, and she ain't got it in spades. She doesn't fluff her lines or bump into the other actors, but that's about all that can be said in favour of her astonishingly stilted and often amateurish performance that lets the film down badly. Aside from Ned Beatty's prosecutor the supporting cast add only a slightly surreal presence in a Boston where everyone seems to have a badly disguised Canadian accent and the streets bear a startling resemblance to Toronto and Montreal.

Likewise, director Michael Crichton, who in Westworld, Coma and The First Great Train Robbery showed that he knew how to lean an audience to the edge of their seats, seems to handle the action in a purely perfunctory fashion - indeed, in one brief chase the shots don't even match and seem thrown together almost arbitrarily. The climax itself has no flair and is completely bereft of threat or danger, and many scenes are played for far less than they are worth. It's no great surprise that, aside from uncredited reshoots on The 13th Warrior, Crichton hasn't directed since.

Its watchable enough in an 80s TV movie sort of way, even if it never lives up to the promise of its opening. Whether that's enough of a reason to see it is down to individual taste.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Crichton delivers as always

Author: Karl Ericsson ( from sweden
4 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jagged edge was a real bad movie but this is not. Wonderful one-liners and new words like "His Gucciness" referring to your everyday yuppie, played by Mr. Darcy from "Married with Children" (Al Bundy's sidekick).

I would have like to give this 10 stars to compensate for all the bad reviews given but that would not have been quite fair. It's still a solid 7 stars and that's not bad (jagged edge could maximally deserve 2 stars).

The villain is also well chosen. He's rich and arrogant, like all real villains.

In short: a decent movie.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

DOA when released, at least now it has a few unintentional laughs.

Author: Poseidon-3 from Cincinnati, OH
29 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Jagged Edge" was quite a success in its day and created a thirst for sexy, mysterious courtroom thrillers, which soon was sated to the nth degree by many imitators. This film first began as a sequel to "Jagged Edge", but when that film's stars Glenn Close and Robert Loggia wisely took a hike, it was reworked with different characters. Reynolds plays a suspended police detective with many brawls in his past and many enemies who is accused of murdering a shady character he'd been tangling with previously. Russell is the public defender assigned to him who is trying to make a name for herself in the boy's club, though Reynolds is often more of a problem to her case than a help. She comes up against various roadblocks and red herrings as she tried to unravel what happened with Reynolds (he blacked out and can't even remember the night in question!) Meanwhile, prosecutor Beatty plays any dirty trick he can and her yuppie boyfriend McGinley whines about how little time she is spending with him. Reynolds was, at this time, in the midst of a string of unsuccessful films which portrayed him as a tough guy despite the fact that his health was failing somewhat and he was no longer able to bring his trademark sparkle to the screen as effectively as he had before. Fortunately for him, the TV series "Evening Shade" would soon rescue him and give him a steady – and award-winning – job for about five years until he made a comeback in supporting roles in feature films a few years after that. If he'd been playing opposite someone more appropriate in age and demeanor than Russell, his performance here probably would have come off better. As it is, he waffles between faint-hearted antagonism and near narcolepsy, battling a preposterous script that wouldn't be worth anyone's effort anyway. Russell is profanely wrong for her role and is often unintentionally funny. Not aided by a severe, all grey and black wardrobe, ugly, over-sized jewelry, tightly-knotted hair and pallid, ghostly make-up, she flounders helplessly as she tries to deliver her lines with anything other than a flat monotone. She seems out of place and shares virtually no chemistry with Reynolds. Beatty (whose "Boston" accent comes and goes) tries to steal every scene he's in and usually succeeds thanks to the lack of opposition on that front. Lenz appears as an ex-love of Reynolds and manages to inject some emotion into her few moments (one of which includes an uproarious Jazzercise get-up.) Gorgeous McGinley is both intentionally and unintentionally funny as the uppity, persnickety jerk with whom Russell lives. His blink-and-miss-it scene walking to their hot tub in some skimpy briefs is about the best thing the film has to offer. Baker, O'Brien and Welsh appear as other potential suspects in the murder (which is revealed in a wacky, tacky prelude involving a suicide attempt.) It's a mind-blowingly idiotic affair that wavers between dullness and jaw-dropping amusement. Though it was routine and inconsequential upon release, at least now it offers up some laughs as McGinley (decked out in the designer gear of the day) and Russell debate the merits of a "cellular phone" and Welsh speaks into one the size of a small Kleenex box! The convoluted plot at least keeps viewers guessing, though it probably left the screenwriters guessing almost as much!

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Badly paced film does sustain your interest.

Author: gridoon
13 October 1999

Few would argue that this is a badly paced film. The fact that it feels much longer than it is proves just that. But it sustains one's interest due to its dense plot, filled with intrigues and mysterious supporting characters. Reynolds is much more convincing in his role than his female co-star, although his screen time is strangely limited.

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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

" Burt Reynolds is a hard, violent and corrupt policeman in this thrilling, cruel and realist film..."

Author: ary luiz dalazen jr. ( from Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil
18 March 1999

A lot before " Payback ", with Mel Gibson, the cinema already showed violent and shocking stories in which the " hero " was, without a doubt, more evil than the bad guys! in those films it was impossible that the people who were watching it become indifferent to the intrigue, and therefore, these films won in the originality inquiry , exactly for showing the " heroes " without artifices, closer to the reality. In 1989, Michael Crichton directed an explosive and tense thriller, and he chose the star Burt Reynolds to interpret the main character... Perhaps Crichton didn't know, but the heavy, powerful and lowering presence of Reynolds helped to transform " Physical Evidence " in one of the best (and more violent) films of the gender, better than " Payback " or any other...with a hate and frustration glance , a cynic and bitter smile and his black and big mustache, Reynolds built one of the most complex and lowering characters of Hollywood's history. Joe Paris (Reynolds) is a hard cop, alcoholic and violent. A man who hates the world and the people in it.He doesn't get to control his temper and he is a true clock-bomb, an unexpected man who is capable to kill somebody at any second. When the body of a well-known boss of the crime is found with his throat cut, Paris becomes, in the eyes of the police, the main suspect, after all the criminal was an old enemy of Joe. Jenny, a public defender, decides to help him, she trusts this mysterious man and she tries to, at every cost, prove his innocence, and she finishes falling in love for him. Managing Michael Crichton builds an excellent film, with a good rhythm, always maintaining the exact dose of suspense and tension.As he had already shown in his other films, Crichton demonstrates that he knows how to ally a good plot with a cast at the same height and value. The scene in which Paris literally destroys some men who insult him is really frightening. He even threads a man's head through the window of the car. Paris is not, without a doubt, the good and nice cop that Bruce Willis interpret, on the contrary, Paris is a killing machine, a man who finds himself strange and full of rage! unlike the characters that Bruce Willis interprets, Joe Paris is revengeful, unfriendly, explosive and intolerant, that is to say, he is not afraid of anything: the death, in the vision of Paris, is a marked encounter for which he waits a long time. Paris is not afraid of death, he knows he has no limits, and he'll kill anyone who trespasses it. " Physical Evidence " is a dark and dramatic thriller. It seems the crime-drama films of the seventies. The movie explores the corrupt policemen's cruel and degrading routine: the prostitutes, the homosexuals, the criminals. In this film, the cops smell cocaine and they kill without pity. The streets are filmed as stages of betrayal and tragedies. In the middle of this treacherous sets "Physical Evidence " intrigue is developed. This is not a film for sensitive people. Reynolds, after his fascinating return in the masterpiece " Boogie Nights ", signed a contract with the television net TNT, owner of the best and largest studio for films made for television, and he offered to his fans of the whole world the same character type again. In " Hard Time ", Reynolds interprets a violent, dangerous and explosive policeman, but perhaps Joe Paris has been his most frightening and mysterious character, a man consumed by the drugs and the hate... Fascinating and violent, this film is a true masterpiece of the gender! watch it! Burt Reynolds once again gives an interpretation show and he demonstrates the reason why he is one of the most consecrated actors of Hollywood! and in this film he has the chance of exploring all his charisma, all his charm and talent. Unlike similar films, like " Die Hard ", a shot in " Physical Evidence " is more violent and shocking than each one of those films together, exactly because Reynolds' film explores the reality! in the films, when a thief is wounded, he falls down on the ground and he dies at once. In " Physical Evidence ", you are wounded, you fall and you die well slowly as it is in fact! intrigue, romance and action, all this is shown in this sad and dark film!it is sad the fact that the Academy didn't recognize the effort and the beauty of this work, and it is also sadder for this film not to have been seen a lot. But you have to discover this work! rent " Physical Evidence " and get ready to root for the bad guy! (and this time the bad guy isn't Mel Gibson - He is Burt Reynolds, the man who makes all the difference!)...

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Well at least my socks match

Author: kapelusznik18 from United States
25 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** Just one of the string of bombs that Burt Reynolds made in the late 1980's that dropped him from being one the top 3 Hollywood macho man, behind Stallone & Schwarzenegger, actors to the point where he was regulated to doing gust appearances, to get cash, on local TV talk shows about grooming one's mustache as well as his or her dogs & cats. In here Reynolds as the disgraced and on suspension Boston police detective Joe Paris is in hot water in being framed in the murder of one of his stoolies Jake Farley, Tom O'Brien, who's dead body ended up hanging or being grabbed by a local suicide jumper who's death plunge he interrupted. It was Farley who was found dead by Kenny Bates that prevented his attempt to jump , with a rope tied around his neck, to his death off Boston's Tobin Bridge. Already in deep trouble for punching out a police captain and with a score of police brutally charges against him it looks like an open and shut case to pin a murder charge, incredibly his first, against Paris.

It's Paris' court appointed attorney Jenny Hudson, Theresa Russell, who takes his case even though Paris, in not impressed in having a woman defend him, is dead set against it. As it soon turns out Jenny does come up with a number of suspects in Farley's murder that can prove her client's innocence. As for Paris who seemed to have lost interest, in how badly the movie is going for him, in if he's found guilty or innocent yet is let out, on good behavior, on the street tracking down and working or beating up suspects as well as carrying a gun that could easily have his bail revoked. There's a number of murders on the side in the film including a star witness in Paris's defense his secret lover Deborah Quinn,Kay Lenz, and her mob connected husband Vincent,Don Grnberry,shows that the late Jake Farley's blackmailing created far more people then Paris who were out to ice him!

***SPOILERS*** Confusing final with Paris, to his relief, shot and wounded as well as out of the picture and his lawyer Jenny Hudson being confronted by Farley's as well as some half dozen other people's murderer in a life and death struggle on a deserted and dark staircase. Even though the killer had no trouble at all taking care of a number of people, including 6 foot tall and 200 pounds policemen, he had far more difficulty taking care or killing the 5 foot 5 inch 120 pound Jenny Hudson who must have been practicing beside law judo and Kung Fu on the side! P.S Strange coincident in the film has the man Kenny Bates trying to kill himself by jumping off the Tobin Bridge and failed where almost a year to the date after the movie was released on January 27 1989 real life wife murderer Charles "Chuck" Stewart did-on Januaruy 4, 1990- and succeeded in him trying to avoid capture by the police!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Forgettable Film.

Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
15 October 2013

Author Michael Crichton directed this crime mystery starring Burt Reynolds as suspended policeman Joe Paris, who is suspected of murdering an extortionist. With no alibi or money, Joe must use the services of public defender Jenny Hudson(played by Theresa Russell) who has her work cut out for her, since, even though the murdered man had many enemies, so does Joe, making her investigation difficult. Can she save Joe, and not fall in love with him too? Forgettable film was originally conceived as a sequel to "Jagged Edge". When that fell through, it was rewritten to its present form. Indifferently acted and utterly predictable film has little to recommend it.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Decent story ruined by the worst acting performance I've ever seen

Author: cartman_1337 from Norway
4 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A suspended cop (Reynolds) gets arrested, suspected for murder. He has no money and settles for a public defender. At the Public Defenders Office a young female lawyer (Russell) fights off a few other lawyers to get the case, hoping a high profile case like this can make her career.

I'm not going to go into the story much more than that, other than to say that the evidence against the cop is mostly circumstantial. As a plot, this could be taken anywhere. Corrupt cops, the defense's feeling of conspiracy against an easy target, suspect lawyers from the district attorney's office; it's all there, and more, and if played out right it could make for a really entertaining trial movie.

But there's a problem in the movie, and her name is Theresa Russell. From the moment she open her mouth she stood the worst possible way. I've seen thousands of movies, but I can seriously never remember seeing a worse acting performance than what she delivers here. EVER! It makes Vampira and Tor Johnson in Plan 9 From Outer Space look like Meryl Streep and James Stewart by comparison! Every time she opens her mouth I shrugged at her amazing ability to make even the easiest line come off completely wrong! There isn't even a hint of credibility about her, and her very presence in the movie - where she's really the main character - ruins everything. Every scene she's in is the worse for it, she is truly the most destructive force I've ever seen in an otherwise decent movie. And she's acting against a string of B- and C- grade actors, most delivering below-par performances, yet they still seem Oscar-worthy next to her.

I'm giving the movie a couple of extra stars for the idea of a story that could've been entertaining if it had a real actress delivering the main female part, and for a couple of decent scenes without her presence, but really; this movie should be avoided at all cost!

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3 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Poor Burt in another dud

Author: GlenGaryGlenRoss
1 August 2002

I got a kick out of Reynolds saying to his attorney, "look,I've done a lot of shi%ty thing in my life, but I never killed anyone." Obviously he forgot about his career which slid down hill after he started making stupid movies like 'Cannonball Run.' Physical Evidence was originally supposed to be a sequel to 'The Jagged Edge' that Glen Close sanely rejected. The verdict is in, avoid Physical Evidence.

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