25 April 2001 | john-353
A pleasant surprise
I recently picked up a copy of this film on video, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. Lauren Bacall puts in a sly, sexy performance, and eventhough most of the rest of the cast have been associated with small time TV appearances on both sides of the Atlantic (with the notable exception of the surprisingly good Philip Michael Thomas who, of course, starred opposite Don Johnson in the legendary Miami Vice), I must say that the quality of the acting was consistently high.
The only real problem that I had with the movie was with Sam McCready. Stylishly realised by Alan Howard, coming across as a puppeteer behind the scenes, the character simply didn't feature enough in the end to satisfy my need and curiosity. I have read many of the Sam McCready novels penned by Forsythe (who introduces the film no less), and this normally prominent character seemed to be in the background far too much for, sadly, far too much of the time.
On a positive note though, I thought that the characterisation of the 'cockney Superintendent from the yard' was pulled off briliantly! I recognised the actor playing the part from many tv shows over here (Larry Lamb, always a pleasure), and to be honest I was expecting the usual 'cor blimey guvs' and 'apples n pears' Dick Van Dyke routine. But to my pleasant surprise, the character came off as a professional, if slightly out of his depth individual, with all of the usual quirks and flaws that keep you inerested.
What a pity that the follow up (Death has a bad reputation) had to feature the bloody awful Liz Hurley. Sure, no-one would question the fact that she is indeed great to look at, but I'm afraid that Big Bird would have put in a more convincing performance than she did!