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Cracker (2006)

TV Movie  -   -  Crime | Drama  -  30 October 2006 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 609 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 3 critic

Fitz returns to Manchester after living 10 years in Australia with his wife and youngest son. He is soon drawn into the investigation of a British soldier who may have been traumatized by his years serving in Northern Ireland.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Kenny Archer
Stefanie Wilmore ...
Katy Fitzgerald
...
Elaine Archer
Lilli Ella Kelleher ...
Lilly Fitzgerald (as Lilli-Ella Kelleher)
...
...
Rosina Carbone ...
Maria Fitzgerald
John Evans ...
James Fitzgerald
Angelo Bommino ...
Gregory - The Groom
Ralph Casson ...
Taxi Driver 1
Stephen MacKenna ...
Robert - Groom's Father
Moey Hassan ...
Taxi Driver 2
Nisha Nayar ...
DS Saffron Saleh
Christine Barton ...
Elaine's Mother
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Storyline

After living in Australia for the past decade, Fitz and Judith return to Manchester in 2004 for their daughter Katie's wedding. Drinking too much at the reception, Fitz stumbles through a rambling toast, which only embarrasses the bride. Instead of spending time with his grandson, son of his married son Mark, Fitz opts to join in the investigation of a serial killer who has an apparent dislike of Americans in the wake of the U.S. Invasion of Iraq. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

30 October 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cracker: A New Terror  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Judith Fitzgerald: First of all, no caped crusader nonsense - grabbing the moral high ground. You didn't know this man! You're doing it because you'd rather spend time with them than your grandson!
Dr. Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald: Oh, no...
[after a pause]
Dr. Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald: Yes.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Screenwipe: Review of the Year (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Wedding March
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
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User Reviews

 
Fitz of joy, tears of disappointment
3 October 2006 | by (On deck aboard the Juicy Bastard) – See all my reviews

That its a welcome return is a given because Cracker was one of most accomplished, socially aware dramas of the last twenty years. ITVs decision to revive it also makes sense as the channel is in terminal decline. It hasn't just been ten years since we saw Fitz, its been almost as long since there was anything approaching intelligent, well written drama in ITV's prime time schedule.

The new episode is therefore gratefully received but with more than a little trepidation - after all later Cracker episodes not written by McGovern struggled to maintain the standard and Paul Abbot's White Ghost, the last special broadcast in 1995 suffered from taking Ftiz from his native Manchester stomping grounds and a dearth of fully rounded supporting characters. The good news is that Nine Eleven is better than White Ghost - the bad news is that it suffers from multiple creative lapses - entirely avoidable and somewhat ridiculous given the talent behind the camera.

In the first instance McGovern' script is really just a channel for his political views on post-911 American hypocrisy, particularly their reconstructed views on Terrorism. The points he makes via Kenny, the ex-Northern Ireland solider who snaps and kills an American stand up making flippant jokes about the War on Terror, are valid and come from an intellectually well-sourced left wing position. Just don't say Mcgovern's an apologist for Islamic Fascism. The problem is that the subtley that characterised the best of the series, by which we mean McGovern's other polemics, Albie in 'to be a somebody' the most memorable example, is absent from this new episode. Watching it is like being hit over the head for two hours. News footage from the wars in Afganistan and Iraq open the story, a misstep that seems out of touch with the more grounded tone of the original series. Then there's Fitz's uncharacteristic obsession with September 11th and this is before a single murder has taken place. When McGovern sticks to his characters he always succeeds but here most are mere cyphers channelling his political views. Those who aren't part of this agitprop are relegated to bit parts and two dimensions - the new Manchester police lacking the definition of the old supporting cast who lent so much weight to the proceedings and provide Fitz with much needed foils and contrasting intellects.

That isn't to say that the new episode is poor - its weighty, provocative stuff - at times uncomfortable and challenging like the best of the series. Whats lacking is the balance that existed in previous McGovern scripts, here replaced by a bombast that makes characterisation secondary. Ill-advised production touches like the new graphics and the new order score tend to detract from rather than enhance the action and the conclusion leaves you happy you've seen Fitz again but cheated that there was so little of him, if you'll pardon the expression - so dominated is the episode by the vengeful soldier with the murderous bent.

I hope this isn't the last Cracker, though its a more fitting epitaph than White Ghost - clearly McGovern needs isshoooes to compel him to write the bloody thing but if he can be motivated and surely there's plenty of cultural angst left to probe, and a crack team of writers can be drafted in to help out, then a new series could yet hit the heights of those classic stories. All in all Nine Eleven was a slight disappointment. If there are future episodes lets hope they retain the distance of previous stories and give us something more than a political lecture masquerading as a piece of a finely crafted police drama.


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