30 August 2001 | Geofbob
Patchy but worth trying
I didn't expect too much from this movie which had no cinema release in the UK, but for its first hour or so it's a competent and original drama, and it just about holds you until its end. Race Darnell, played by Patrick Swayze, on Death Row for killing his wife, exchanges letters in the form of casette recordings with four women, each of them thinking she is his sole support. But one of them discovers the truth, and turns nasty. Soon after, his conviction is reversed; he gets out, and meets up with the women one by one, trying to find out who's threatening him. But before he identifies her, she starts killing the others, using the same method he was supposed to have used with his wife.
From then on, the film becomes more implausible, and more gory. Also, though tension is first built up with Swayze going on the run, it's then reduced by cutting away from the action to show the Feds having discussions about who the killer is, instead of them simply pursuing Race implacably. A nice touch - or a digression, depending on your point of view - is a buddy-buddy friendship between Race and one of his former wardens, Horton (Roger E Mosley) who's a fan of cowboy stories. You're kept guessing until the last few minutes, though mainly because one of the characters acts irrationally, and the Feds climb some stairs very slowly! All in all, it's worth a look on TV, or as a bargain rental.