When narcotics detective Eugene 'Mack' McCanick discovers that a seemingly harmless young criminal, Simon Weeks, has been released from prison, it triggers a firestorm of paranoia and violence. Mack and his partner, Floyd, mercilessly hunt down Weeks for unknown reasons over the course of one long, hot day. The closer Mack gets to his prey, the more we understand that his frenzy stems from a truth from the past, which only Weeks can expose. The truth is revealed in the explosive finale, which culminates in a surprisingly emotional confrontation not just between McCanick and Weeks, but also between McCanick and himself.
A grim crime drama showcasing two very good performances
McCanick follows a darkly twisted Philly detective throughout one day as he tries to find a recently paroled ex con. This film stars David Morse in another Philadelphia based role and the late Cory Monteith, both of which give very seasoned performances that really elevate this film. To start off, the story here, while it is entertaining, is very hard to follow. It is telling two stories simultaneously, one through flashbacks, the other through present day. While this has worked for films of this sort in the past, McCanick misses its mark here regarding a coherent plot. However, as a character piece, this film is absolutely terrific . David Morse as McCanick is very realistic and true to his performance. Morse is especially great in delivering a spot on Philly accent and making us truly believe that this man is a complete psychopath. Another actor in need of much praise here is Cory Monteith. Despite passing away rather recently, this film is bittersweet in a sense. The man proved he was capable of delivering raw and intense emotions, it is a shame we will not be able to see Monteith truly evolve and grow as an actor. Mike Vogel, another Philly native, gives a rather lackluster performance in a bare bones type of role. It isn't necessarily Vogel's fault that his character was underwritten, but he could have at least spiced it up a bit on his own. The director Josh C. Waller has created a great atmosphere for Philadelphia along with delivering a very tasteful character study but he fails to deliver in telling a story that remains coherent and is paced right. In the glimpses of the story that we do get, it is broken information, some of which is said and then never touched upon again. This happens quite often in this film. Despite a bare bones and jumbled story, the film works as a gritty character study of an obsessive cop. If only the story was elaborated on more or cut out all together and went the Bad Lieutenant route, either way there is room for improvement. The only thing that I did not like in this film was the ending. Without giving away any spoilers, all I'll say is it is underwhelming. Overall, I feel Waller has a safe place for future films of this sort. He directs with confidence, even if the script is a bit flat, he makes it work. The real people to watch in this film though are both Morse and Monteith. These two actors really give two amazing performances that are quite impressive. Morse especially carries this movie on his shoulders and runs with it, he's very very good in this film. Anyone who is a crime film buff, you'll really enjoy this one. It's a really raw and gritty thriller with a lot to offer.
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