Face Down (1997)

TV Movie   |  R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery


Face Down (1997) Poster

A private eye gets caught up in a one-night stand with a seductive woman, but then realizes when it's all too late that he's been caught up in a tangled web of murder.


5.7/10
169

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14 April 2012 | johndeckbose
8
| Unusually Good
I'm stunned by how good this so-called TV flick is.

The cast is top-notch: Joe Mantegna, always a favorite, mostly -- though not exclusively -- because of his Mamet work, as a disgraced NYPD detective working as a private dick; Kelli Maroney, one of the two sisters from the wacky zombie classic Night of the Comet, grown up and sexy as hell as the schizoid blonde bombshell, but still with the same crazy energy; Peter Riegert as the NYPD detective with a longstanding grudge for the Mantegna character, a former partner; rocker Adam Ant as the smarmy behind-the-scenes puppet master -- they all come together in a beautifully paced, complex noir that never takes a predictable turn.

Thom Eberhardt's direction is solid throughout: the camera work is shockingly good for a TV film (considering the profanity and nudity, that description seems odd) and the actors deliver admirably. There are no false notes, no ridiculous plot holes -- just confused, conniving, ambitious people trying to either stay afloat or get ahead.

The locations is where this movie scrimps. They're mostly backlot sets pretending to be NYC, and they look cheap and fake, but that's no one's fault. It's a low budget film. This same script, even with this fairly no-name cast, could easily be in the same league as Body Heat or Basic Instinct -- the only difference is the budget.

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