Griff McCleary is a cop, now his son shot himself with Griff's gun. A year later both he and his wife are still reeling from it. Griff feeling shut out by his wife Olivia, decides to move ... See full summary »
Griff McCleary is a cop, now his son shot himself with Griff's gun. A year later both he and his wife are still reeling from it. Griff feeling shut out by his wife Olivia, decides to move out. Now he is investigating what appears to be a murder-suicide. He believes that there was no suicide. His investigation leads him to a girl named Nikki. It seems that Nikki is a little fragile and has not had much luck with men. When Griff helps her, she asks if she could stay with Griff, and after she and Griff sleep together, she learns that he is a cop and that he has been following her, shattered Nikki shoots herself. Griff is then suspended from the force. But he is unaware that her partner-lover, Harlan, wanting to get back at Griff, is pursuing Olivia, who is vulnerable after hearing what happened between Griff and Nikki. Written by
Melodramatic Themes Overwhelm Thrills In Well-Produced Suspense Effort.
This attempt at making a "thriller", shot primarily within the west San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, is intended to create suspense in a viewer, but sentimentality that lurks upon the sidelines quite often usurps the scenario, and while generally suitable for the plot line characterizations, it also serves to soften the film's narrative effect, principally due to hackneyed elements that mottle the tale of a police detective's endeavour to defend himself against the stratagems of a professional assassin. A Los Angeles Police Department detective, Griff McCleary (Linden Ashby), observes his young son accidentally kill himself, using McCleary's hand gun, an event that apparently finishes his marriage to an emotionally shattered spouse, Olivia (Alexandra Paul), yet this is but one of Griff's problems since, only a year later, when attempting to solve a double homicide, he finds himself in deep trouble with his employer after a suspect in the homicide case, Nikki Mayhew (Cynthia Preston) dies in his apartment, leading to disciplinary suspension from his job, an apparent end to any hope of reconciliation with his estranged wife, and to being stalked by Harlan (Maxwell Caulfield), the late Nikki's husband, a killer for pay. There is a good deal here to recommend in this film that benefits from above-standard production values, with several of those involved having worked together in other pictures. The direction by Rob Malenfant is neatly paced and his, coupled with cinematographer Steve Adcock's, decision to consistently employ closeups, permits a capable cast to create roles, while crisp editing by Bernard Gribble and the well-integrated scoring of Richard Bowers are correspondingly salutary, as is the designing. Unfortunately, the film is hampered by a largely uninspired screenplay and it is this failing that lowers the entire piece to its level of mediocrity. The players perform well, Caulfield furnishing one of his better performances, while Preston wins the acting laurels here as a somewhat unwilling siren for high stakes badger games. A New Concorde DVD version includes some cast biographic notes along with the movie's original trailer, and provides top-flight visual and sound reproduction.
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