I caught this movie on pay-per-view the other day. I see it was made in 2009 and as a rule I don't pay for flicks that are over a year old, but I don't recall the listing on cable saying '09. But what actually hooked me was the trailer, which was pretty good.
It stars Mark Thompson as a police profiler who has been out on medical leave and returns to the job to be thrown immediately on a serial killer case. Thompson is also the writer, which is usually a red flag for me because it means the movie is probably a vanity project for someone who doesn't deserve a vanity project.
It is telling that even though I only saw the movie last week, I cannot remember a single character's name. And I'm not going to waste my time Imdb'ing the movie to find out.
Anyway, the reason Thompson's character is out on medical has to do with an on the job situation that left a co-worker in danger. His struggles with that have him undergoing a psyche-eval with noted head shrinker Kevin Pollack. Their interactions are fairly amusing -- witty banter, that makes me wonder if Thompson is a comic for his day job.
Thompson isn't actually a bad actor, he pushes what range he has, and is fairly handsome in a scruff-tastic kind of way. His affect with cigarette smoking makes me wonder if he actually smokes. But whatever.
The movie moves along fairly well, though it doesn't make you cling to your seat. A lot of boilerplate dialogue and some of the police/crime scene stuff that rankles me on a regular basis: why is the detective using a disposable Kodak box camera to take pictures at the scene? Why does the detective have to tell the techy to take samples of this or that? Why does the detective have to tell the tech to "clean up" an image on a monitor?
Just one time, I want to see the tech answer, "No, I can't clean it up! Don't you think I would have if I could! Dumbass!!"
There's lots of flashbacks from Thompson's character's childhood and the killer's, interwoven to make it difficult to tell whose you're watching. Pollack's shrink works hard to break through Thompson's cop's wall to find out what happened that caused his suspension and is still giving him problems. A far-fetched hypnosis technique is used that plays a part in the film's resolution. It is one of the two only ludicrous reaches in the movie.
The other being the killer himself. There's a shocking incongruity with the killer and Thompson's cop, that pretty much ruined it for me. Along with a bittersweet touch to an improbable ending that I'm not sure was necessary, but I'm sure that writer Thompson felt it was good for actor Thompson's character. Me the viewer, ehh, not so much.
And for the record, there is a reason for the movie's title and it is explained in the conclusion. I get the feeling that Thompson got to the end of his script and thought, "Oh sh*t, how do I close this thing out?!" It just has a forced feel to me.
There's a lot of recognizable faces in the flick besides Pollack. Jere Burns, Dwight Yoakum, and Teri Polo. Also the guy who plays the police chief, I don't know his name, but he's done a ton of stuff. Like I said, not going to Imdb this, so . . .
All in all, it's not a bad movie, I wouldn't recommend paying extra for it. I'm sure it will be on regular cable channels soon. It won't make my list of default movie choices, but I won't turn it off if there's nothing else on.
And just to make this more palatable, here's some pics from Teri Polo's Playboy shoot 6 years ago. Unexpurgated for your enjoyment, of course:
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