Police Story: Burnout (1988)

TV Movie   |  PG-13   |    |  Action, Thriller


Police Story: Burnout (1988) Poster

A veteran vice cop (Wagner) has a hard time dealing with her partner's suicide.


6.2/10
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29 October 2002 | petershelleyau
vice cop Lindsay
Lindsay Wagner is Sydney Shannon, a Los Angeles vice detective who has been on the job 14 years and is showing signs of strain after her best friend ex-cop Millie Ellis suicides. Sydney acts out against a pimp, has a drunken pickup, and a drug problem, before she is able to continue with her current case - the killing of Janet Wilson. The test is when she holds a gun to the killer trying not to shoot him.

Wagner's black roots in her grey/blonde hair help her deteriorated appearance, though she gets an unintentional laughline when she says `The other day I found a grey hair'. She looks best in a red dress for a date, where the camera pans up her standing as she dresses post coitum, though she also has a beautiful grungy closeup turning her head back to other detectives in a conference. Sydney's running slowly and ineffectually after someone is compared to her later getting fit montage, with it's own associations with Wagner's Bionic Woman. We see Wagner's handwriting, she slurs her voice for a medicated telephone conversation, makes `I'm relatively young' funny, and flares her nostrils as she holds the gun on the killer.

The teleplay by Mark Rodgers, created by Joseph Wambaugh, presents the loneliness of police officers to whom work is everything, and Sydney claims that she can only meet married men since all the available ones are criminals. The treatment doesn't make police heroes or as despicable as the law breakers, and director Michael Switzer focuses more on interpersonal relationships than chases and gunfights.

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Action | Thriller

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