9 August 2002 | rsoonsa
The Road to Paranoia at its Bumpiest.
This harrowing but well-done film, purportedly based upon actual incidents, relates in nicely detailed fashion how the criminal justice system can fail in its avowed purpose of bringing only the guilty to heel. Jim Anderson (Tim Matheson), a happily married free-lance photographer preparing for his first gallery showing, relieves himself behind a park building in the course of taking his morning run, is spotted and arrested by a policeman for indecent exposure and, during the booking procedure for his malfeasance, is seated directly beneath a composite drawing of a felony suspect with his general appearance, a coincidence not long unnoticed by the police, who then rearrest him for robbery, and his good life ends. He is "identified" by the several victims of the actual criminal's spree, is charged within several jurisdictions for numerous counts of robbery, kidnapping and rape, and his convoluted struggle against the zealousness of law enforcement seemingly places the innocent man upon a hopeless one-way street. The film is strongest in its depiction of Anderson's strained relationships with his wife (Mimi Kuzyk), parents, friends and employer, some of whom begin to consider his guilt a possibility, as does he when incriminating evidence from the victims mounts. The work is nicely directed by Rod Holcomb from a script by Josephine Cummings and Richard Yalem, and the acting is good throughout, particularly that of Matheson, Kuzyk, Linda Thorson, and Lisa Eichhorn as his defense attorney who tries her best to free her client from the nightmare road upon which he travels.