Detective Sergeant Malcolm Ainslie, a Catholic priest turned distinguished investigator for the police, has agreed to hear the confession of a convicted serial killer sentenced to death in ... See full summary »
Detective Sergeant Malcolm Ainslie, a Catholic priest turned distinguished investigator for the police, has agreed to hear the confession of a convicted serial killer sentenced to death in a just a matter of hours. What he promises to reveal to Ainslie is the truth behind the crimes and the reason he confessed to the one crime Ainslie doesn't even believe he committed. What unfolds between the two men is a serpentine trail into both men's pasts based on the bestseller from master storyteller Arthur Hailey. Written by
Tom Berenger plays Malcolm Ainslie, a former priest turned detective, and he has one big case on his hands. A madman is killing elderly residents in gruesome fashion and his actions seem to be somewhat borrowed form The Book of Revelations. As a former priest, Ainslie might just prove to be the perfect one to solve the case.
Mixing in Ainslie's troubled personal life, Detective has a good story throughout it's running time. I can't help thinking this could have been even better had it not been a Hallmark presentation. There's no gore here (but plenty of opportunities) and the suspense seems to watered down somewhat, especially during the climax. It's totally got that TV feel to it, but director choirs are well handled by David Cass, a seasoned television director.
The cast is mostly good. Tom Berenger is good as Ainslie, handling all aspects of the character well. Cybill Sheperd is fine as his wife but Annabeth Gish is completely stone-faced all the way through. It's fun to see Charles Durning but his role is a small one.
Had this movie gotten the theatrical treatment it could have been one hell of a thriller. Sourced from a good book by Arthur Hailey, it really cries out for better production values and some bloody set pieces. Still, it's quite good all the same.
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