A man inadvertently gets caught near a car explosion, and after he recovers from his injuries realizes that he has amnesia. Soon evidence begins to mount that he could be "The Claw Hammer ... See full summary »
Meredith Baxter Birney is only reason for this film
I just watched this obviously made for television mystery (the pauses for inserting commercials are obvious) on the Encore cable channel.
I like Meredith Baxter Birney. She is the principal character of this film, and also one of its producers. In 1989, when this film was made, her second popular and award winning "Family Ties" TV series (her first long-running role was as the daughter in "Family") was in its tenth and last year. I'm guessing perhaps now in her 40's she was maybe either having a hard time getting good roles or was feeling type-cast. She plays a woman with a rough childhood who has grown up tough and became a career criminal. She is a cat burglar (i.e., someone who stealthily uses second story windows to gain entry), with a long rap sheet. As the film starts she is serving a long prison sentence and has a deserved reputation among the other prisoners as someone not to mess with.
A fictitious federal agency (the S.O.B.) gets her released into one of their agent's custody (Rober Urich) for assistance on a project in which her special talents are needed. The mystery's plot evolves with many twists and turns. Why did the agency choose her? What does the agency do? Who are the real bad guys? Why did S.O.B. assign her to an inexperienced bookish agent? The many twists and turns of this mystery drama include an unsolved serial murder case, people placed under post-hypnotic trances when they were prisoners of war, a known criminal running a Congressman's Senatorial campaign, and mysterious people who seem to be trying to kill the two principals.
The plot inconsistencies are too many to list all. Why does Baxter Birney's character lose her ruthlessness once out of prison? Why do the bad guys attempt to kill the two of them before they accomplish what the bad guys want them to do? The S.O.B. agent never even considers calling the FBI after he learns the truth. With just minor changes it could have been the script of an Abbott and Costello movie. "Hey Abbott, they're trying to kill me!" Nevertheless, the performance of the still very attractive Meredith Baxter Birney is very good and kept me from turning the channel.
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