Facing the Enemy (2001) Poster

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Melodramatic Themes Overwhelm Thrills In Well-Produced Suspense Effort.
rsoonsa14 May 2007
This attempt at making a "thriller", shot primarily within the west San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, is intended to create suspense in a viewer, but sentimentality that lurks upon the sidelines quite often usurps the scenario, and while generally suitable for the plot line characterizations, it also serves to soften the film's narrative effect, principally due to hackneyed elements that mottle the tale of a police detective's endeavour to defend himself against the stratagems of a professional assassin. A Los Angeles Police Department detective, Griff McCleary (Linden Ashby), observes his young son accidentally kill himself, using McCleary's hand gun, an event that apparently finishes his marriage to an emotionally shattered spouse, Olivia (Alexandra Paul), yet this is but one of Griff's problems since, only a year later, when attempting to solve a double homicide, he finds himself in deep trouble with his employer after a suspect in the homicide case, Nikki Mayhew (Cynthia Preston) dies in his apartment, leading to disciplinary suspension from his job, an apparent end to any hope of reconciliation with his estranged wife, and to being stalked by Harlan (Maxwell Caulfield), the late Nikki's husband, a killer for pay. There is a good deal here to recommend in this film that benefits from above-standard production values, with several of those involved having worked together in other pictures. The direction by Rob Malenfant is neatly paced and his, coupled with cinematographer Steve Adcock's, decision to consistently employ closeups, permits a capable cast to create roles, while crisp editing by Bernard Gribble and the well-integrated scoring of Richard Bowers are correspondingly salutary, as is the designing. Unfortunately, the film is hampered by a largely uninspired screenplay and it is this failing that lowers the entire piece to its level of mediocrity. The players perform well, Caulfield furnishing one of his better performances, while Preston wins the acting laurels here as a somewhat unwilling siren for high stakes badger games. A New Concorde DVD version includes some cast biographic notes along with the movie's original trailer, and provides top-flight visual and sound reproduction.
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Playing with Guns Starts TROUBLE!
whpratt122 October 2004
This is a very entertaining film and starts off with a horrible beginning and gradually advances into a deadly plot. Linden Ashby,(Griff McCleary),"Whacked",'02, is a detective who is having problems with his marriage and has drifted away from his wife(Olivia) and their romantic activities in the bedroom. Alexandra Paul,(Olivia McCleary),"A Woman Hunted",'03, is suffering from a loss in her family and meets up with Maxwell Caulfield,(Horlan Moss),"Submerged",2000 who fixes her car and seeks a romantic relationship. The plot twists and turns and you wonder just how the film will finally END! Good entertainment for a TV film!

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Face It , It`s Not Very Good
Theo Robertson29 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
!!!!! SPOILERS !!!!!

As soon as this started I was convinced that I was watching a TVM even though there was a BBC onscreen announcement that FACING THE ENEMY contained scenes of violence and strong language . And after it finished I was still convinced it was a TVM - with the exception of scenes of violence and strong language .

The film starts with the credits in a white typeface appearing over a man parking his car in surburbia , always a symptom that you`re watching a TVM . The action moves along to the man ( Griff McCleary ) kissing his wife ( Olivia ) and their son finding his father`s gun and accidentally blowing his head off , a scene that`s laughably prissy just like you`d expect in a TVM . But then the film goes off into an entirely different tangent of Griff tracking down a prostitute who`s setting men up to be killed by her boyfriend , the prostitute killing herself and the boyfriend trying to gain revenge on Griff by getting close to Olivia in order to kill her . Sounds really sick and twisted doesn`t it ? And to a degree it is , but despite the inclusion of the F word every ten minutes I couldn`t help thinking FACING THE ENEMY was anything more than a TVM complete with bland actors and a script that relies on coincidence . Unfortunately if like me you hate TVMs you`ll probably hate this while if you love TVMs you`ll probably dislike it because it contains swearing . At the end of the day this movie will please no one
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