"Janek: Terror On Track 9" is the 5th installment in the 7 film Frank Janek series, all broadcast by CBS starring Richard Crenna from 1985-1994. This 1992 outing finds Janek, two years after his last appearance, still with the NYPD but no longer directing the Internal Affairs Dept. Essentially Janek is still one of the Dept's top detectives but he isn't ferreting out corrupt cops anymore. The basic plot is a serial killer, apparently a woman based on appearance, is killing people via lethal injection in Grand Central Station. Many of the regulars from the first four films are not present here, although Cliff Gorman is back as wisecracking partner Aaron Greenberg. Joe Campenella takes over the role of Police Chief, no easy task when a family member of his becomes one of the victims.
Complicating the investigation aside from the lack of credible witnesses is nosy TV reporter (Joan Van Ark) who seems to be first on the scene, film crew in tow, every time a murder takes place. Swoozie Kurtz plays FBI agent Marcia Hobbs from the Behavioral Anaylsis Unit (BAU, like on the TV show "Criminal Minds") brought in at the behest of the beleaguered Police Chief to assist/run the investigation. Things get complicated when Hobbs tries to pin the killings on a suspect she's been chasing cross country, despite Janek's protests that he doesn't fit the profile of the killer in this case. Greenberg also makes waves accidentally spilling confidential case info in an attempt to romance Van Ark's intrepid reporter. All of this puts the Dept on the public hot seat and prompts Janek to seize control of the investigation away from the FBI (though Hobbs still assists him). Along the way Hobbs and Janek grow closer, bonding over their failed marriages.
For the most part this is a well paced film with enough believable twists and turns to keep you interested, much like the previous films in the series. The ending however, at least the manner in which Janek stumbles upon the killer (who up to this point hasn't done anything to make themselves a suspect) is a bit of a stretch, and the killer's meltdown, reminiscent of a split personality disorder, would have been better served with more time spent on the killer's background and some prior evidence of the disorder. Aside from what seems like a rushed ending, the movie is enjoyable, and at least up until the part, well written. The rushed ending detracts a bit however and leaves this entry, while entertaining, a step below the previous films in the series. As always, Emmy Winner Crenna excels as Janek, the quintessential tough guy with a softies heart. Gorman is good as well although he isn't used as much here as in previous installments.
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