20 July 2003 | rsoonsa
Too poorly scripted to possess any interest.
This deplorable example of a police-flavoured drama stars a miscast Brian Wimmer as Dan Sampson, a supposedly unsullied officer assigned to a tour in a Long Beach (Calif.) Police Department division that is under internal investigation for corruption. The poxy division (oddly called "precinct" in this sloppily written affair) is headed by a completely distasteful captain played by Yaphet Kotto who can do nothing with his part to make it even remotely plausible. An identical hurdle is faced by others of the cast who must struggle with the cliche-sodden scenes fostered by writer/director Douglas Barr. The production is damaged due to the use of readily foreseeable action and dialogue, the latter being generally disconcerting in its low quality. It is evident that little or no effort was made beforehand to determine what sorts of law enforcement procedures would apply for the Long Beach, or indeed any, police department. Wimmer is only effective, and that marginally, when his character edges towards self-victimization, generally being far from accurately representative as a police officer, even a misfit as in this movie, and his transmutation into a vengeful man with a mission lacks any trace of conviction. Fine supporting players M. Emmet Walsh and James B. Sikking answer the slight demands of their roles, telegraphed as they are by the trite direction. Little is asked of the actresses involved here, Olympia Dukakis being particularly absurd in her capacity as a police psychologist with a secret of her own. One might conceivably amuse oneself by calling nearly every action and bit of conversation before they occur; there is surely little else upon which to concentrate. For such a pitiable film, it is pleasing to report that the cinematography and lighting, under the care of Paul Holahan, are estimable and consistently creative, as well.