14 November 2011 | Hey_Sweden
Decent thriller with excellent star duo.
Writer Larry Cohen concocts this interesting, entertaining movie that mainly hinges on the often antagonistic relationship between two strong personalities. Brian Dennehy stars as Dennis Meechum, a cop who also writes books based on true crime stories, who is approached by Cleve (James Woods), a professional hit-man for an unscrupulous businessman, David Madlock (Paul Shenar). The hit-man feels inadequately compensated for his years of service, and is now an incredibly disgruntled ex-employee, enough to approach the cop / author to propose writing a book that reveals all the ugly details of the businessman's rise to the top. Capably directed by action specialist John Flynn ("Rolling Thunder", "Lock Up", "Out for Justice"), "Best Seller" tells a pretty good story in slick enough fashion, with some effective moments of very nasty violence. It also has very strong subtext about portraying a dark side to capitalism and corporations, as well as Cleve's own very dark version of The American Dream. It's well paced, with some potent scenes that establish what kind of man Cleve is. Yet, for a man who most of the time comes off as pure scum, he has definite intelligence and a real presence, and in the end does have a redemptive quality; it's the kind of role meant for an actor of Woods's abilities, and he plays it for all it's worth. But Dennehy is equally his match as the dedicated cop both disgusted with and intrigued by his new associate. Appealing Allison Balson plays Dennis's daughter, although supporting players Shenar and Victoria Tennant ultimately end up with not that much to do, and Shenar's character is not what you'd call subtle. Other fine players in the movie include George Coe, Anne Pitoniak, Mary Carver, Sully Boyar, Kathleen Lloyd, and Charles Tyner, with a too brief, uncredited appearance by Seymour Cassel as one of the bodyguards. Reasonably engrossing, with an ending that at least isn't 100% predictable, although some viewers may not find it terribly satisfying. But the interplay between two experienced and reliable movie stars makes it all worthwhile. Seven out of 10.