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Veteran reporter Peter Brackett is enjoying new found fame after his book, "White Lies" is published. When he is asked by his newspaper "The Chicago Chronicle" to report on a train crash, he notices new reporter Sabrina Peterson. Brackett's complacency gets rudely shocked by Peterson's report for the rival "Chicago Globe." What follows next is a mad race between the reporters who then cook up possible events that lead up to the crash. After an initial spate of mad reporting, both settle down to get the facts straight, which leads them to uncover opposing information. When each gets setup to be killed at the same place, they escape, and then agree to work together. While they initially do not trust one another, they eventually come to work together to uncover the truth behind the train crash. Written by
Thejus Joseph Jose
Peter and Sabrina are told to go to O'Hare Airport in Chicago and catch the overnight plane to Madison, Wisconsin. The drive time from downtown Chicago to downtown Madison is two and a half hours. See more »
Had potential but has big failings in the script, atmosphere and in the two stars
When a train crash happens, veteran newspaperman Peter Brackett is sent from the Tribune to cover the story despite him being a columnist. At the scene of the crash he meets the beautiful young reporter Sabrina Peterson who he tries to hit on without much success, before dismissing her as an inexperienced youth. The next morning she scoops him in the Globe, getting an angle on the story that he didn't have. This sparks a rivalry between the two journalists but, as they find out more about the story they find themselves in mortal danger and are forced to form an uneasy partnership.
In case you are film-illiterate, this film has even called a character `Thin Man' to help you realise what it is clearly aspiring to be. The fast talking, battling characters aspire to be like those in the Thin Man series. However the main problem here is that this film has none of the wit, spark or fun of that series at it's best; instead it is all a bit lifeless and flat. The plot is good but it doesn't decide to be a mystery thriller until very late in the game; the final set piece is good but, because the film had been aiming for `playful' up till that point, it just doesn't work out well and it can't just suddenly create tension out of nowhere.
The rest of the film tries to be light and witty but it doesn't manage it either. A major fault in this regard is with the script; it doesn't have any really good lines or sequences. As much as I accept that Woody Allen is not everyone's cup of tea, he would have been the perfect part of a writing team here - witty dialogue in The Thin Man style is really his thing. The other problem is with the cast. Nolte and Roberts may both be big names, but they sadly have ZERO chemistry and this is a big problem. The two have no lines and their lack of spark just makes it worse, to compare this with the Thin Man series does that a great disservice. The support cast fares a bit better and contains quite a few famous faces such as Rubinek, Rebhorn, Loggia, Dukakis, Levy, Martin Smith and Gleason. They all do OK but they can't help the failings in the script, atmosphere and in the two stars.
Overall this is just about watchable but it's hard to ignore what it clearly intended to be. It is pretty much a big failure as it fails to amuse, excite or entertain on anywhere near the level that it was aiming for.
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