Poor Craftsmanship Eliminates Suspense and Intent.
The film opens as a vehicle driven by Paul Flemming (Nick Mancuso) becomes mired in snow forcing him to trudge into a nearby small town, New Hope, where Good Samaritan Wayne (Jacques Godin) tows the automobile into a local repair shop, and then invites Paul to his home for dinner, where he meets Wayne's daughter Amy (Leah Pinsent), along with her betrothed, Jeff (Aidan Devine), who is instinctively suspicious of the visitor, and for good reason. An aspiring author, Paul explains to the others that he is a college professor, yet viewers of this film soon find, after his return to an anonymous large city, that he is instead a strong arm debt collector for an organized crime boss, Raymond Ravennes (Patrick Bauchau), and when a personal cheque that Flemming used to pay for the automobile repair in New Hope bounces, sentiment there naturally turns against him, although Wayne and Amy remain unaware of his vocation as a wrongdoer. Because she has fallen in love with him, Amy is not convinced that Paul is truly a scoundrel and goes to the "city" in an attempt to locate him, but is crestfallen when she discovers that his true name is David Murdock and that he was terminated from his college position. Meanwhile Paul, having become weary of his criminal existence, criminally assaults his employer and steals a large sum of money from him, whereupon he returns to New Hope with Ravennes in pursuit, and Flemming and Amy, now lovers, are about to face together a hazardous showdown. Seldom will a viewer experience a storyline hampered by such an extreme lack of logic and risible plot holes as within this film, in addition to drastic flaws in continuity that sharply reduce potential audience interest in the characters, and although the camera-work of Louis de Ernsted is consistently fine, direction by Yves Boisset is inert throughout. Nick Mancuso has upon occasion performed well, but when unbridled as here through weak leadership, his native hamminess reduces his parts to caricatures. Others of the cast of capable performers are obviously more comfortable speaking their customary Québécois than English; however, Anne Létourneau, in her defense, is especially victimized by the silliest dialogue of the screenplay. Acting honours must go to Pinsent for her intensely shaded turn in a film that is clearly forgettable.
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