Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
Matt Whitlock, the police chief of Banyan Key a small town near Florida, is separated from his wife, Alex, a police detective based in Florida. Matt's been having an affair with Ann Merai Harrison, a woman who's separated from her husband Chris and who says that she has cancer. When her doctor tells her of a new treatment that's expensive, Matt gives her the nearly half a million dollars that he seized from some drug dealers. When she turns up dead evidence points to Whitlock. He tries to figure out what's going on but apparently it appears he's been set up. So he has to try and find the money especially now that the Feds are asking for it before the evidence exposes him. Written by
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs
Matt Whitlock (Denzel Washington) is the immoral police chief of a small coastal town in Florida.He is having a sleazy affair with Ann Marai Harrison (Sanaa Lathan),a dental nurse and the wife of fellow police officer and rival Chris (Dean Cain),who mistreats her mentally and physically.One day,posing as her brother,he and Ann Marai pay a visit to the doctors to pick up some blood test results.It is here they are dealt the shocking blow that Ann Marai has an incurable form of cancer and has roughly only six months to live.Ann Marai wakes up to the hopelessness of her situation,but Whitlock clings on to hope in the shape of some treatment in a foreign country.It's going to cost a fair bit though,and money doesn't seem to be readily available.Desperate for cash,Whitlock steals a small fortune seized from a drug bust and puts it forward.Then,the next morning everything goes pear shaped when both Ann Marai and Chris are killed in an apparent arson attack.Aside from losing the woman he loved,Whitlock must now also contend with the mounting evidence putting him in the frame,especially when a nearby elderly neighbour (Evelyn Brooks) points him out as a suspect and a homicide squad,headed by his wife Alex (Eva Mendes) find evidence that suggests he was the new benificerary of Ann Marai's will.
This is the second pairing of Washington and director Carl Franklin since the film noir Devil in a Blue Dress,nine years ago in 1995.The films are very similar in substance and style,and are conveyed in a very similar way.Washington,though not turning in the best performance of his career,carries the film fairly engagingly,and is given good support in the shape of Lathan,Cain and Mendes.Though the performances are perfectly on par,a lot of the film's shortcomings are attributable to director Franklin,who allows the pace to become rather laxed and to lose it's sense of narrative structure in parts.Like many thrillers nowadays,he also allows credibility to be stretched fairly far in certain parts,requiring a rather huge and unreasonable suspension of disbelief from the audience.
He does also,however,really require you to use your brain and pay attention at all times to everything that is being said and inferred,no matter how preposterous it may sometimes be.The film emerges as being as good as you could hope it would be,serving it's purpose as a watchable but ultimately generic Hollywood cookie cutter thriller.***
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