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Set in a dirt-poor neighborhood in the fictional city of San Lovisa, Texas, EvenHand tells the story of two very different cops, working together for the first time. Rob Francis, recently divorced, finds the adjustment from his previous assignment in "Sleepytown" difficult. With his new partner, the volatile Ted Morning, he spends his days breaking up domestic disputes and attempting to make sense of a parade of lowlifes, firebugs and junkies. Morning is the original Texas cowboy, all muscle and bravado: arrest 'em first, ask questions later. The characters and events in EvenHand subtly intertwine until Francis and Morning must both face the consequences of their very different approaches to the job. Filmed on location in San Antonio, Texas, EvenHand is a police story, but it's not about car chases or shoot-outs. It's about two cops struggling to survive in a world where, without warning, numbing routine can give way to primal fear. Written by
This is a slow paced but enjoyable little indie film. It's sort of like watching an episode of "Cops", but you get to see what the officers really talk about between calls.
Having been a police officer for the past eight years, I must also compliment the film makers and screenwriter for a portrayal of uniformed officers that is as realistic as anything I've seen on film. It is clear to me that the screenwriter, and I'm sure the actors, spent some time researching police officers. The small talk between partners ("You don't like women because of their personality, do you?") was both funny and bang on - I'm sure I had the same conversation myself.
There were some flaws that stuck out for me - officer Morning carries both an expandable baton and a straight stick; he brings his mag-light out of the car and puts it on his belt in broad daylight; and he wears his uniform when he goes out drinking at a bar.
Nevertheless, the feel was right. The same calls, the same idiots they have to deal with, the same monotony day and night punctuated by a few moments of adrenaline and danger.
I also found the acting to be good, especially Bill Sage as Officer Morning. He reminded me of a friend of mine I used to partner with.
The soundtrack was also very engaging and appropriate, giving a very bluesy feel like something from Ry Cooder.
Not a perfect film, but definitely the best cop film in the past several years. If you like the police stories on Third Watch, you'll like this.
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