District attorney Ford Cole is running for mayor, promising to capture the city's elusive crime boss, Danny Ludin. On the night of a gas link in the inner city, his interview with a national reporter is interrupted by word that his best prosecutor, Nora Timmer, who's also his lover, has killed a man she claims was assaulting her. A few minutes later, a man shows up at Cole's office claiming it was murder, implicating Nora in complicated schemes and crimes. Cole wants a few hours to get to the bottom of a mess that quickly includes land deals, shell corporations, and political corruption. Who's setting up whom? Written by
if it would not be for sign of "low budget" in some scenes, and a certain "too close" resemblance of "the usual suspects", this feature would be an excellent thriller in itself. the cast are remarkably well chosen for their respective on-screen characters. one of the best roles for Ray Liotta, LL Cool J, Mekhi Phifer and Jolene Blalock, played accordingly as well.
there are 2 main problems that create a certain let-down for this production. first one is regarding the first 10 minutes or so where the plot is a bit as "all over the place" and might loose the viewer's interest (certenly almost did mine). second one is the one scene that contains an explosion and where the cgi effects are VERY bad( while that is not important to the plot at all, somehow will affect your impression and visual perceptions since the suspense about around there is great- kind of a "let down" for a few moments). also i might add that at times the plot seems rushed-off, but maybe because is trying to pull the exact same dialogs-camera work-twists as in "the usual suspects"( one of the best suspense movie EVER!).
all the action happens in one night. starts with the "crime" and works its way back by means of "flashbacks". a minor difference is the fact that the director inserts those flashbacks of Jolene Blalock breasts as well ( is obviously only a commercial attempt at targeting larger audiences. however those scenes are "ok" and she looks great indeed). Ray Liotta plays in Chazz Palminteri with the exception that here, this particular character is more extensively developed ; he is the central one after all. i will not say who the other "guys " are but there are enough twists that will keep you guessing until the end 5 minutes or less. just like "usual suspects" makes perfect logical sense( i really respect that first and fore-most in any respectable thriller). while the resemblance to the best thriller is too MUCH to be "respected" as an original feature in itself, i give credits to the whole cast for being able to pull it off with enough style as not to "disappoint". a good positive point as well would be that the movie never slows down as the "b" features generally do, by having "fill-up" scenes in its middle parts.
enough said, i am going in circles on this title since it is a rip-off( there, i said the word again, hehe) and the original score keeps pupping up in my head, the resemblance is just way to great; overwhelming actually even if completely different in details( only Nora Timmer character, the woman, is more developed here in comparison). it is a good watch nevertheless, and will not disappoint you if you can "pass" the explosion scene without loosing any interest... so the plot gets 10 stars( while i will ignore the similarities, they are different in context itself and do make perfect sense overall ), the acting gets 10 as well( i can not think of anyone that was playing "badly"), the soundtrack gets an 8 ( great musical choices but not consistent, again a sign of low budget),the camera work gets a 10( great achievement for a low budget), the script gets a 5( 1 for originality in essence and 10 for consistency), and finally the cgi effects get a more then deserved 1 star. did i miss something?
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