Sam Dietz, a New York cop recently reassigned to Los Angeles, joins the hunt for a serial killer who seemingly picks his victims at random from the telephone directory - but the closer he gets to cracking the case, the more personal the stakes become.Written by
Ross Horsley <email@example.com>
Joe Spinell was originally cast to play the role of Captain Blakely, but died shortly before filming was to begin. See more »
[referring to another policeman at the station]
Is that the jerkoff?
No, that's another one.
How many jerkoffs you got around here?
Got exactly eight. I hope you don't make it nine.
See more »
Two Los Angeles detectives (one a veteran, the other a rookie) work the case of a psychopath who is killing people in the Sunset Blvd. area of L.A. The film is not a whodunit. The script's POV alternates between the Sunset killer (played by Judd Nelson), and the two cops (played by Robert Loggia and Leo Rossi).
The only mystery is at the beginning, with the killer's motivation. But that clears up as the plot moves along. The film offers a fair amount of suspense, as the killer pops into scenes unexpectedly to assault his victim. Some of the drama involves feisty banter between the two detectives, with the rookie showing insight and unorthodox determination, while the veteran seems slightly bored and wants to follow conventional police procedures.
Though fictional, the overall story is believable enough that something like this could happen in real life, if the dreadfully clichéd ending had been excised and replaced with an unexpected and more potent climax.
Visuals are dark, consistent with the thriller genre. Cinematography is conventional but competent. I really liked the opening credits' sequence with that overhead perspective that traverses a stretch of Sunset Blvd. Acting is competent.
"Relentless" manages to present a more believable villain than what we typically see in fictional serial killer scripts. And the plot steers clear of silly absurdities that plague similar films. I just wish the ending had been stronger and more original.
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