Tom Farrell is a navy officer who gets posted at the Pentagon and is to report to the secretary of defense David Brice. He starts an affair with Susan Atwell not knowing that she is Brice's mistress. When Susan is found dead, Tom is assigned to the case of finding the killer who is believed to be a KGB mole! Tom could soon become a suspect when a Polaroid negative of him was found at Susan's place. He now has only a few hours to find the killer before the computer regenerates the photo.Written by
Sami Al-Taher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tom Farrell is offered a job within the Defence department under Brice, the secretary of defence. When the two begin seeing the same woman, Farrell is forced to do so quietly so that Brice doesn't know. When Brice finds that Susan is seeing another woman he accidentally kills her. In order to cover up Brice's involvement, his aide Pritchard engineers a theory that the "other man" in Susan's life was the one that killed her and that he is a legendary Russian spy. In order to keep control of the investigation, Farrell is put in charge of the investigation and is faced with clues that he knows will eventually lead to him. With the set-up closing in on him he must race against time to find a way out.
This is a remake of The Big Clock, with a modern political set-up. The story is well set-up with only some misgivings in the first 30 minutes where the roots for the story are developed. Once the real story starts it is very good and it moves with a real thrilling pace, building to two endings one very powerful and with a feeling of being trapped, and the second being a clever if not totally convincing twist. The feeling of being trapped and closed in on is very palatable and is very well conveyed for most of the film.
Costner is excellent here (a long time before his bubble burst) and Hackman brings his usual class. The standout role is Patton's smarmy, spin doctor homosexual Pritchard, he is truly excellent and manages to bring a sense of menace to a quite feminine role.
Overall an excellent thriller that is slow to start and has a low-key ending. The only problems are the slightly stretched plot and some of the action being unexplained (why do the covert-ops guys keep chasing Costner? I understood why for one of the chases but other ones just seem to happen for no reason). But 7 out of 10.
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