This film is about a hyper-vigilant employee of the department of public safety who, while training his young female replacement, has to track down a missing girl who he is convinced is connected to a paroled sex offender he is investigating.
A young journalist, a seasoned cameraman and a discredited war correspondent embark on an unauthorized mission to find the No.1 war criminal in Bosnia. However, their extremely dangerous target decides to come after them.
The paranoid registrant administrator of the Department of Public Safety Erroll Babbage is forced to an early retirement due to his abusive behavior against the sex offenders that he should monitor, and shall spend his last eighteen days training his replacement Allison Lowry. When the seventeen years old Harriet Wells is considered missing in his area of work, Errol is convinced that her disappearance is related to one of his parole sex offenders. However, his superiors do not believe on his investigations and he convinces Allison to follow him in the sick underworld of pornography and perversions trying to find the missing girl. Written by
Claudio Cavalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This is the first english language movie directed by Andrew Lau, the co-director of the Infernale Affairs trilogy See more »
When Errol puts the plastic tarp back over the corpse in the basement, it is clearly the same shot of him pulling it off, but in reverse. See more »
Department of Public Safety.
Mr. Dennison? Vincent Dennison is a registered sex offender, the sooner I can verify his address, the sooner I can leave him alone!
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It does not seem that this movie managed to please a lot of people. First off, not many seem to have seen it in the first place (I just bumped into it by accident), and then judging by the reviews and the rating, of those that did many did not enjoy it very much.
Well, I did. I usually tolerate Gere for his looks and his charm, and even though I did not consider him a great actor, I know he can do crazy pretty well (I liked his Mr Jones). But this performance is all different. He is not pretty in this one, and he is not charming. His character is completely different from anything I had seen from him up to that point---old, ugly, broken, determined. And Gere, in what to me is so far his best performance ever, pulls it off beautifully. I guess it is a sign of how well an actor does his job if you cannot imagine anyone else doing it instead---think Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, or Washington as Alonzo in Training Day. That is how good Gere was here.
The rest of the cast were fine by me, too. I guess I would not have cast Danes in this role, mostly because I think she is too good-looking for it. But she actually does an excellent job, holding her own with a Gere in top form, which is no small feat. Strickland easily delivers the best supporting act, in a part that requires a considerable range from her. I actually think she owns the key scene with Gere and Danes, and that is quite an achievement.
So what about the rest of the movie, apart from some excellent acting? The story is perhaps not hugely surprising, some 8mm-ish aspects to it, but adding the "veteran breaks in rookie" storyline to the who-dunnit, and also (like Silence of the Lambs) adding a sense of urgency through trying to save the girl and the impending retirement of Gere's character. All that is a backdrop to the development of the two main characters, as they help each other settle into their respective new stations in life. That's a lot to accomplish in a 100 minutes, but it is done well, and we end up caring for the characters and what happens to them.
Direction and photography were adequate. I could have done without the modern music-video camera movements and cutting, but then I am an old curmudgeon, and it really wasn't all that bad, in fact I think it did help with the atmosphere of the movie, which as you might have guessed, by and large isn't a happy one.
93 of 112 people found this review helpful.
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