25 February 2016 | NateWatchesCoolMovies
Neo noir done right. Severely overlooked film.
Chasing Ghosts is a shadowy neo-noir treat, a throwback to the hard boiled detective thrillers of golden age Hollywood. Michael Madsen even said in an interview for this that a lot of the time he bases his acting work on old school tough guys like Lee Marvin and Robert Mitchum, making him the perfect guy to headline such a deliciously nostalgic flick. Here he plays Detective Kevin Harrison, a good cop who has found himself entangled in a dangerous web of corruption. He's a good guy that happened to make a lot of bad decisions which led him into the company of treacherous people. He is dealing with a mysterious serial killer who is targeting high ranking mob figures, which in turn dig up old memories involving old partner and friend Mark Spencer (an implosive Michael Rooker) who he couldn't save. He feels like a father figure to his Rooker's daughter (Shannon Sossamyn) who is now an inquisitive journalist. He's also got a timid new partner (Corey Large) who tags along, not knowing the danger he'll wade into simply by being close to a guy like Harrison, who has danger written all over him. The plot thickens, then coagulates, then boils, hardens and gets shattered again by all kindly third act revelations and labyrinthine exposition that takes some patience and a love for this kind of genre stuff. Madsen makes a sympathetic, frayed protagonist who is anything but a hero, yet trying to right some pretty heavy wrongs that weigh on his soul. Gary Busey brings his trademark bugnuts weirdness as Marcos Alfiri, a powerful gangster with ties to Madsen's past. Meat Loaf is an energetic police captain, Lochlyn Munro another department grunt, Sean Whalen the obligatory perky, wiseass coroner, Patrick Kilpatrick is a going ho SWAT commander, and Danny Trejo shows up for a verbose extended cameo as another underworld figure. This one deserves way better than the scant distribution and lukewarm reception it got. It's neo noir done right, and doesn't disappoint.