True Blue (2001) Poster


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flimbuff30 March 2002
A tough cop is taken off a major drug case because of his 'cowboy' antics and finds himself assigned to a case where all he has is a severed hand floating in the water. Luckily for him the hand still had fingers so the prints lead us to a missing city hall employee.

Exploring the girl's past leads us into involvement with a Chinese drug gang which are hero has reason to detest. Next we are led to a pedophiliac elected official, blackmail, several dancers, some murders and dirty cops.

Berenger carries the film singlehandedly and it follows a predictable course until the end. The 10 minute conclusion takes us thru more twists than most mystery writers can concoct in several novels so most viewers should come away well satisfied.
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Perfectly adequate mystery
lacrescenta26 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Perhaps it was my slightly lowered expectations, but I found this movie to be perfectly adequate and competent. I thought it was interesting and I was drawn to the screen until the end.

It's got that moody film noir look to it, and there were times when the lighting wasn't too flattering on the cast. I guess kudos should go out to the stars who didn't mind being seen in such a light (though none of them ever looked really bad). And true, the plot was somewhat complex at times, but I didn't have too much trouble following it, and I am notorious for forgetting characters' names and losing track of extremely intricate plot details.

Tom Berenger gave a very convincing and heartfelt performance as an

antisocial policeman who, admittedly, is no longer in the full blush of youth. While Berenger may be thicker around the middle than he was in the days of

"Major League", he looked just fine for the (presumably) 40-something character he was playing. Besides, his hair always looked great, so that's gotta be worth something.

Lori Heuring never seemed to give off much charisma as far as I am concerned

(but I may not be appreciating all of her assets, since I am female). But, she was competent in her role. Barry Newman, Soon Tek-Oh and the rest of the cast

were fine as well.

The plot was interesting, with plenty of twists that kept me guessing until the end. I enjoyed seeing a film that was a little more unpredictable. Extra points go for keeping me on my toes! (I usually pride myself in being able to guess "who dunnit" early in the film, but not so with this movie.)

While the pace of this movie may have been slow at times, it didn't bother me that much. The romance in this movie (such as it was) seemed rather flat as

well. However, this was still a perfectly satisfactory movie, and while far from perfect, certainly is worth a look if you are interested in moody noir-type




There is a scene early in the film where the Berenger character is talking to the guy who works in the morgue, and says to him, "Boy, I hope I never end up on

one of your slabs." My ears pricked up, and I had this sinking feeling that

Berenger's character would, indeed, end up on a slab in the morgue by the end of the film. I was SO glad when my hunch turned out to be incorrect. I guess I'm turning into an old softie, but I hate seeing the protagonist / hero end up on a slab at the end of a movie!
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Best Berenger movie since Sniper
BlackWind-20012 October 2002
A very well done movie with a great plot and story. Thrilling and good entertainment :) Tom Berenger is a great actor but have delivered a lot of bad movies lately but this one puts him back up there for sure. Deserves an 8 in my book.
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Not bad… but not really good either.
SamRag5 August 2002
I'm unsure as to what I really think of this film. I enjoyed watching it, though it was in reality nothing special. It started rather slowly, and for the longest time you are not sure what the story is about. Are we watching Tom's character, Rem, falling in love, ruining his career, or is the film about the investigation and finding the baddy! Well neither story really worked out. The plot through out the film is complicated and about persons you don't see at all in the movie, though the ending (at least to me) was a surprise (one of this time when you think you've cracked it, but then there is one final twist!). And the love story was unbelievable and looked more like a middle aged man getting turned on by a teen. However, there was something about the film that still kept me interested, so like I say, I'm not completely clear as to how to judge it. I think what maybe kept the film both interesting and enjoyable was very good acting by Lori Heuring, playing the girl Nikki. 5/10
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The Hand of Fate
sol27 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** Almost indescribable plot involving this mysterious severed hand that pops up in the duck pond at Taylor Park in Boston that belonged to a young woman, Melanie Ann Hines, who worked in the Mayor's office. Boston Homicide Detective Rembrandt Macy, Tom Berenger, is put on the case of the missing body, since the hand was already in police custody, together with his super super cool and sexy partner Detective Beck, Pamela Gidley, by their boss Monty, Barry Newman, to solve this very baffling murder case.

Macy who's already on the outs with his superiors in the Boston Police Department because of his my way or the highway attitude gets even more resented by them in him shacking up with the dead and missing handless women's roommate Nikkie Calderon, Louri Heuring, who if its possible is even sexier and a hell of a lot hotter then his partner Detective Beck! In that Nikki is more then willing to take her clothes off and put out for the happily surprised and eager to jump into action Detective Rembrandt Macy unlike his partner Detective Beck who despite her good looks is about as cold as the iceberg that sank the Titanic: Why is it that guys like Macy have all the luck!

The film soon get a bit over our heads with all the subplots thrown into it that makes it look like it, or the movie screenwriters, is having trouble in making up its mind in what to do to make it more understandable to those of us watching it or just how to end it as soon as possible before it gets even more ridicules then it already is. There's the usual double triple and even quadruple crosses you would expect in a tangled detective film like "True Blue" but it doesn't just end at that. Detective Macy's actions are so over the top that you start to wounder if he's not on some kind of hallucinogenic drug or weed that he's secretly smoking or drinking besides the gallons and packs of booze and cigarettes he consumes in the movie.

Macy despite his bumbling does in fact track down just who's responsible for all the mess he and the audience finds themselves in but goes one step higher in putting his fat head on the chopping block in confronting the person whom he feels murdered or knows who murdered Melenia Ann Hines. Macy does that by confronting the suspected killer on his own turf, Boston's Chinatown, with a two million dollar payoff in order for Macy to keep his mouth shut about him to the Boston Police.

****SPOILERS*** Just when you and Macy thought that you knew who Melanie's killer is in pops the surprise of all surprises, in a movie filled with surprises, to who not only did in poor dead and handless Melanie but almost everyone else in the movie's cast! And is now planning to do in both Macy & Nikki in order to make it, in wiping the slate or cast clean, a full house! Macy who by now realizes that he's been suckered into all this insanity, the film "True Blue", still has an ace up his sleeve even when he's shot and left for dead by one of the schemers he trusted, against his better judgment, in! The old mud stuffed up the gun barrel trick that Macy's potential killer fell for lock stock & barrel!

P.S Check out movie stuntman Oscar Hsu in one of his rare acting appearances as a bullet riddled corpse lying on a slab at the Boston City Morgue!
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Bearing Berenger
DrPhilmreview9 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
What happened to Tom Berenger's career? Is he difficult to work with? Or a poor judge of scripts? I always found him effective and interesting, and indeed he makes the beginning of "True Blue" interesting as he plays a cop with the unlikely name of Rembrandt Macy. I also liked the casting of the hip young cop team he's in charge of. And who can complain about Lori Heuring as the movie's mystery girl? However this cast is wasted as the film plods on and tries to startle us with a few switcheroos, but they are wasted as the audience has long fallen asleep before they unravel. Berenger appears to have happily settled in the world of direct to video movie releases occupied by the likes of Michael Biehn and Tim Matheson. Too bad. I think he's better than this. I had never heard of this film before I saw it in the library. Now I know why.
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Surprisingly enjoyable
Bjorn (ODDBear)30 September 2005
TV thrillers. So many of them and they all somehow mesh together in your mind. It's sad to see Tom Berenger, a quality actor, not getting any good roles these days in movies, so this is basically what we can expect in the future. That said, True Blue gave me quite a shock; in the sense that I actually found it entertaining.

Tom stars as a broken down, physically aggressive, alcoholic detective with a past (do they come any other way?) who's investigating a crime that may uncover some police corruption. So who's really a True Blue?

This is actually a fairly well written yarn, fast paced and well acted. Tom is solid as the stereotypical detective and the rest do a good job as well. The plot is well constructed and offers a few unexpected twists in the end. It has that TV feel to it, but it does well what it sets out to do; entertain those less demanding. This is no Chinatown, but it's a solid mystery none the less.
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Run of the mill disillusioned cop meets beautiful girl thing
mtangaa30 November 2001
Berenger is good, the rest of the cast are adequate. The story is very predictable and somewhat incoherent. A pretty explicit s/m scene is included to spice things up a bit, but it seems out of place. Not recommended viewing, but if you have nothing better to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon, then ...
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Dirty Gun
bkoganbing2 April 2017
In True Blue Tom Berenger plays a dirty Harry like cop who is constantly getting disciplined and/or chewed out by the higher ups most notably by Barry Newman his immediate superior. After a drug sting doesn't yield what it's supposed to presumably because of Berenger he gets assigned a really tough homicide, all that's found is a severed hand in a pond in a city park.

It's determined to be female and the hand yields fingerprints in the system. A young woman who has a rap sheet for prostitution who also has roommate doing same and a third who is also missing who has left not so much as a fingernail.

It's all complicated maybe too complicated tale of city corruption, drug dealing, folks who have alternative sexual tastes. Some Asian drug gangs are involved.

Then there's a most mysterious roommate of the deceased played by Lori Heuring who Berenger starts feeling the heat for below decks. Only the gayest people in the world wouldn't.

The story may get a bit too complex, but there's enough action out there. Including a final confrontation right out of a Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry film. As for the final irony, think of the John Wayne film Rio Lobo and what that dirty gun does.
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Puffing policeman
tomsview1 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The title, "True Blue", must refer to the thick layer of cigarette smoke that hangs over nearly every scene in this film. The actors, led by Tom Berenger, smoke as though they believe it will ward off everything from vampires to the common cold. For a movie made in the era of enlightenment about the dangers of nicotine, the smoking is epic in its intensity.

Along with the burnt-out cigarette butts, True Blue is a burnt-out cop movie, and features just about every cliché of the genre. There are so many familiar elements that it wouldn't come as huge surprise to learn that the film had been compiled from a colour-coded file of stock situations.

Does any of this sound familiar? A beautiful party girl is murdered because of her involvement in a kinky, sex-ring. Prominent citizens and pillars of the community are revealed as part of the aforementioned ring. Much of the investigation takes place in a strip-club with naked pole-dancers in the background. The most unexpected characters turn out to be the real perpetrators.

Tom Berenger plays a hard-boiled detective and burnt-out cop called Rembrandt Macy, Rem for short. With his wrinkled, "Columbo" raincoat and constant haze of smoke, Rem fits into the backstreets of Los Angeles like an unemptied garbage can – never has a character been more in need of nicotine patches or a dry cleaner.

The film starts with Rem investigating two, seemingly unrelated murders. One of the victims is a young woman, and Rem is led to her roommate, Nikki, played by Lori Heuring.

Rem and his partner Beck, a no-nonsense blonde played by Pamela Gibney, track various clues that lead to gangsters in Chinatown, and to an S&M sex club patronised by some well-known civic leaders. Eventually, Rem's investigations lead him back to Nikki with whom he has been having an affair. In a series of revelations, which go from ridiculous to outrageous, her role is revealed.

Rem's other associate is Tiger; his ex-detective partner played by Soon-Tek Ho. Tiger is quirky and Asian and lives on a houseboat. Despite the isolation this would entail, he has his finger on the city's pulse. Of course, a quirky associate is de rigueur in a burnt-out cop movie, and Tiger is definitely at the extreme end of the quirk factor.

True Blue was written and directed by J.S. Cardone. In his attempts to surprise the audience, he created a triple-twist ending that is almost a send-up of twist endings. It involves nearly everyone in the cast and comes off more like the surprise adventure gift that Michael Douglas received in David Fincher's "The Game".

No amount of surface gloss and competent acting can overcome a script that revels in so much cliché. That Cardone the director thought that Cardone the writer's plot would work shows the traps that await the auteur.
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It's a mix of this and that
Nick Damian18 October 2006
What could have been and should have been is not what is.

What is - is not what you expect and what you expect is not what is.

The last few minutes of this movie are just stupid.

Watch for the train scene...

If the cops were bad from the beginning, then it would all make sense...

...but I suspect it was rewritten several times and cut so much that the script was just stupid at the end.

  • and on another note...why do the single/divorced /widowed police always have to fall in love with the stripper/prostitute/witness? It's a bullshi t way to write a script that was written in the eras of the 1940's and 50's and should be done with.
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A disheartened cop is seduced into the seedy underworld of blackmail and betrayal, when he falls headlong for a sultry young vixen.
FilmGuy8610 March 2002
The movie has a very dark feel about it. In each progressive scene the director takes the viewer deeper and deeper into the abyss of inner city corruption. The dreary mood of the film serves as an excellent backdrop for the mature subject matter being presented. The main character played by Tom Berenger, does a great job of portraying a man who is on the brink of losing it all, and sets the stage for his apparent liability. Although some of the scenes are predictable, the film does a good job of keeping you guessing as to what's coming next. Overall I found this to be an enjoyable, and entertaining film, well worth the price of a rental for an evening.
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This isn't a movie it's just a steak dinner
jamesbourke5014 May 2002
Anyone familiar with the works of writer/director J.S. Cardone will doubtless know that the man never seems to rest on his laurels for long, having filmed this cop thriller hot on the heels of his vampire yarn "The Forsaken".

Now herein lies the question, director Cardone is prolific yes, dabbling in a variety of genres, now aside from gigs like "Shadowzone" "The Slayer" and "Crash And Burn" written or directed by Cardone down through the last two decades, the vast majority of the man's work has mainly consisted of dark and brooding thrillers, whereby deep beneath the surface of the story, lurks many a festering heart.

Such is the case with "True Blue" starring Tom Berenger as Detective Rembrandt "Rem" Macy another one of those hard drinking,chain smoking cops on the edge. Now when i first looked at the cover for this movie, i thought to myself, where is Tom Berenger, Looking at the front of the cover you'll find a cosmetically reconstructed Tom looking kinda like Huckleberry Hound, when you flip over to read the synopsis, you catch sight of the real Mr Berenger, gone to pot and a looking like both "Platoon" and "Someone To Watch Over Me" had never hapened!

If you were to say that this was thriller, reading the front and back of the video/dvd cover would indeed make you believe so. However this is just another steak dinner swimming around in Tom's gut.

No harm no fowl to anybody involved in this movie, as i like anyone, loves a good yarn, but Cardone has not done us any favours here by parading an endless dislay of situations wrapped up in a scenario that could've popped up in anything from Homicide to NYPD Blue.

An Ironic twist kicking around in this movie, is the lead character's name, unlike his famous other, Rem Macy is most definitely no oil painting, which was also mirrored in his living habits. I guess in hindsight the casting of Berenger was a stroke of genius, as he was looking in need of the work.

Watch this movie and remember the scene in "Platoon" when Berenger's character and Willem Dafoe's square off in the vietnamese village, you wonder could Dafoe maybe sometime pay Berenger a visit and slap some sense into him, and perhaps be a bit more choosy about his next role, which judging by his character's chain smoking habit, could be the next advert warning upon the perils of killing your lungs!

But hey this was only a movie, take it or leave it, until J.S. Cardone conjurs up his next slice of over ripe hokum.
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An Incoherent Mess
PLRD10 December 2001
A lot of the ingredients of an enjoyable jaded cop film are there but they just didn't work for us. The contrived and complex plot is so densely packed into a few lines of dialogue in several scenes and the switches, surprises and reverses are so numerous that for us the film became increasingly incoherent and finally ludicrous.
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A Jumbled Mess
Gingerella24 December 2003
This film was supposed to be a film noir, except that the character development of everyone except for Tom Berenger's character was flimsy. As a result, it's hard to buy the plot twists. The characters needed more development -- most noir characters are one-note, but those notes have to be played clearly. If the, say, gruff but sympathetic boss doesn't come across as sympathetic, you care less if he is killed. (Note: this is a random example, not from the film.) On a side note, the lighting (or cinematography) of this film was awful, making all of the actors look terrible. In particular, Lori Heuring, who has an asymmetrical face, was shot from an angle that made her appear in some light to have a harelip and in others to make her look like she was slightly sneering (the actress herself is extremely pretty in other films, so I think I'm right to blame the camera work). Anyway, that's a small quibble with an otherwise bad film.
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Contrived mess
rosscinema14 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Its so sad to see some of the dreck that Tom Berenger has been making in the last ten years or so. Occasionally he pops up in something interesting like "Training Day" but in small roles. But the projects that he stars in is usually low budget junk and "True Blue" is absolutely junk! Berenger plays Rem who is a burnt out cop who drinks a lot and smokes even more and looks completely out of shape. He's a widower and his wife was killed by an Asian gang. While investigating the disappearance of a girl he gets mixed up with Nikki (Lori Heuring) who is connected to the case. The usual investigating takes place as Rem goes to strip joints and S&M clubs and of course everything leads to the Asian gang. ****SPOILER ALERT**** The ending to this film is so bad, and so preposterous and contrived that as a viewer I got a little angry. Why do writers and directors continue to have plot twists with his co-workers involved and setting him up? Its ridiculous! Its unbelievable! They did the same crap in the film "Along Came a Spider" and ruined that film as well. This wasn't a very good film to begin with but this atrocious excuse for an ending makes it even worse. Please! I beg you writers and directors out there, no more convoluted plot twists! Twenty five year veterans of the force are not going to set up other officers for some money and commit murder. No one has ever bought it! And no one ever will!
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B is for Berenger
George Parker5 July 2003
"True Blue", just another Berenger B-flick, is a noir wannabe in which he plays a homicide detective with a past who's trying to get to the bottom of a murder mystery while trying to avoid the bottom of a blond tart involved with the case. This budget conscious flick fleshes out only half the characters in its convoluted and messy plot, relegating the other half to the backstory or endless conversation about the goings-on of a bunch of bad guys we don't get to see. "True Blue" is the kind of flick you might want to watch on late night tv when your choices are limited to vampires and old movies. (C)
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Very supportive of Tom Berenger's notch writing bolstered by superb acting.
robellis19459 March 2003
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILER I thought the movie was very entertaining throughout. Especially riveting were scenes wherein Berenger's character, Det. Macy, seemed to exhibit human fallibilities that made me like him even more...taking the "scared girl" into his own apartment because she was afraid to go to a hotel nearby. Going against his better judgement and possibly throwing a curve ball into the investigation of the missing girl whose had was found attached to the boat in the pond, he went ahead and showed some real humanity by taking her it. The real surprise came at the end, not that the girl was involved...I had figured that all along...but that his co-workers had set him up to take the fall for the entire escapade. And his use of the "mud in the barrel" of his gun, when it came, was not all that surprising, since he had seen a victim of a similar situation in the morgue not too many days before. All in all, a very satisfying piece of art. I like Tom Berenger, anyway, and I think this, though not one of his best efforts, was a good way to spend a couple of hours.
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If you're into S&M, watch True Blue. It's painful.
contact_paul10 April 2002
The classic formulae. Good cop, drinks too much, good cop wallows in his own self pity, good cop gets led astray.

True Blue, though very nicely shot (when viewed on DVD), with a style that I am inclined to think the DOP learned his trade through shooting Commercials, is reminiscent of an average TV drama.

Berenger, who shows promise, but never quite delivers in this role, plays against a confusing backdrop of prostitution and asian crime gangs. Though never one thing or another, the director neither commits to the full communication of the dark underground sex themes which the plot suggest, nor does he create a subtle undertone of this, choosing rather to sit firmly on the fence between both. Unlike 8mm which chooses rather to show in more detail the deviant sex it is revolving around (in actual fact, going to far simply for shock value).

At the same time, Lori Heuring, who plays Nikki, is as false and cosmetic as her perfect body, which does little to raise interest levels.

Perhaps, the director would have done better to concentrate his efforts on giving this film a little more heart, instead of attempting a pseudo "Bladerunner" pastiche. But then again, perhaps this is never going to happen, as this egotistical film maker, who is neither Director, Writer or Producer (though choosing to be all these things on the making of his films). Choosing rather to have full control over his below average productions, instead of allowing the skills of others to influence and most certainly improve his mediocre and bland 'work'.

It is therefore not surprising to note, that the strongest point on this film, the filmography, is the only key role which does not carry the name "J.S. Cardone" of the director.

Not a 'truly bad' film, but very very bad never the less.
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