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 ...
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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
Joseph Pierson's surprising "EvenHand" comes as a total surprise to this viewer. It seems that even in the Indie circuit, it was not deemed commercial enough to grant this film to be seen by a wider audience. Thanks to the Sundance Channel, we were able to catch with it recently, and frankly, it's much better than some mediocre fare that keeps turning on, even on cable. The screen play is by Mike Jones, who according to IMDb, is his first story for the movies. Mr. Pierson is making his second film after having only co-directed "Cherry", previously.
The film has an almost documentary feeling in its exposition. We are somehow confused by the beginning as officer Rob Francis is seen talking to a woman who might have been injured, but we have no clue as to what has happened to her. This, of course, is resolved toward the end of the film, as we are taken to that scene in great detail.
The idea of pairing an idealistic cop with one that has been around, and for all accounts, might have dealt with things in his career without the approval of his superiors, is at the center of this story that takes place in the streets of the fictional San Loviso. Officer Ted Morning is a street wise cop who believes in doing things his way. As Morning and Francis begin their partnership we see two different men from different backgrounds with two different attitudes in life.
Slowly, both men become one team, as the idealistic Morning starts seeing how things really work and how right his partner is about his approach to the street laws. In fact, Officer Morning is an experienced man in his own community and knows what makes people do the things they do.
Bill Sage makes an amazing contribution to the film. His Ted Morning is nothing less than perfection. Mr. Sage also appeared in "Mysterious Skin" in a totally different role and he proves he can do anything. Why is this actor not seen more often and in films that matter, is a mystery. Bill Dawes is another actor that gives an incredible performance as Officer Rob Francis, the man who comes to the San Loviso police force with high ideals and is turned off by what he sees going on instead.
If there's a film to watch for great portrayal of real people "EvenHand" is it, thanks to the stylish direction of Joseph Pierson.
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