16 March 2005 | rsoonsa
Has Interest Only As A Melodrama.
A burgeoning sub-classification of the Cinema Of Paranoia genre is that depicting illegal harvesting of organs for the purpose of transplantation, with this work being based upon an apparently unpublished novel, featuring Peter Onorati as Type A insurance fraud investigator Nick Stillman whose life is extended by a heart transplant, but whose native bent for delving into chicanery leads him into situations of personal danger for him and for his family. In spite of the success of his life-saving operation, Nick is dismayed to discover that his donor who had allegedly died at the wheel of a stolen car did not, according to his former fiancée, know how to drive, and Stillman's investigation brings suspicion toward the surgeon who performed his procedure, played by Sam Robards, and also upon Nick's wife (Alice Krige), as possible suspects engaged in highly illicit activity that may include murder. This movie made for television does not reflect any particular point of view, with didactic, politically correct motifs pushing against elements of a mystery, and only slick production values maintain a viewer's interest, particularly as the multi-themed affair becomes increasingly predictable as it wobbles to its close. Clancy Brown earns acting honours here for his well-defined performance as a villain, while Onorati, Krige and Robards each contributes an earnest turn, but there is too little cohesion in the scenario, although there is a good deal to like in the way the picture looks and sounds; Onorati, incidentally, is beat up and pummeled upon quite as often as were the private eyes of yore in noirish cinema.