20 June 2006 | bob the moo
Average film for the undemanding mystery daytime TV fan
Having lost his wife in a violent crime, theatre director Larry "Cash" Carter moves to a small town in Connecticut to get away from the stresses of bigger city life. Looking for funding for his latest play, Cash comes into contact with local millionaire Sidney Lassiter who immediately rubs him up the wrong way by being anti-Semitic and demanding. And so Cash finds himself just one of many people that have a reason to dislike Lassiter. So later that night when Cash's friend Lt Tony Rossini tells him that he is investigating Lassiter's murder, Cash helps out and gets involved in the case.
Having seen "The Lady in Question" and found it bland and undemanding fare, I still decided to give the other film in the stalled series a try. Like the second film this is very undemanding fare that will fit nicely with audiences that enjoy the basic mystery movies on Hallmark and the like (Mystery Woman, Jane Doe etc). The plot is interesting without ever getting going although the development of the case is reasonably engaging. Of course this means it lacks any depth which is rarely a problem when a film is slick and stylish, sadly this one tends to move sluggishly as if it has nowhere to go and nothing to do an approach that rather flies in the face of face of the fact that a murder has occurred! The director does well if this was her aim but otherwise she plays it far too slowly and with a sense of urgency that was needed underneath.
The cast match this meandering approach and with a bit more help could have pulled it off. As it is they are just reasonably good in an average film. Wilder is a bit more interesting here than in the second film (where it did feel like he was just moments away from falling asleep at times). Here he is actually pretty good fun despite the material. Starr's character doesn't make a great deal of sense but he is a fun character. The two men have a bit of chemistry but it is difficult to believe they know one another that well because they don't merge that well I assume this is part of the reason that the series didn't catch on. The support cast features turns from Lost's O'Quinn and Six Feet Under's Conroy and others like Edison and Rosen. None of them have much to do though and generally their characters are just quite thin.
Overall this is a mediocre or average film that might just be good enough to distract viewers who aren't looking for much more than that. The cast match the amiable and ambling mood which makes for some nice touches but generally just slows the film down further.