Written by Ron L. Brinkerhoff, based on the novel Jitter Joint by Howard Swindle
Directed by Jim Gillespie
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Charles Dutton, Kris Kristofferson, Dina Meyer, Christopher Fulford, Jeffrey Wright, Tom Berenger, Robert Prosky, Robert Patrick, Courtney B. Vance, Sean Patrick Flanery
- Theatrical trailer
- Eight deleted scenes
- "Actor Interviews" with Dutton, Kristofferson, Polly Walker, Fulford, Patrick, Prosky, Vance, Wright, and Angela Alvarado Rosa
My Advice: Avoid it.
Malloy (Stallone) is a fed with some serious issues. He was on the trail of a serial killer who wound up getting on his trail first--and more effectively. This killer targeted cops, and had a serious mad on for Malloy--and the killer appears to have gotten exactly what he wanted. Malloy is trying to kill himself with alcohol in the wake of the killer's attack. Only his friend and partner, Hendricks (Dutton), sticks by him to try and pull him out of it. To those ends, Hendricks takes Malloy to a special clinic, out in the middle of nowhere. Run by a former cop and recovering alcoholic, "Doc" (Kristofferson) has assembled his first collection of self-destructive law enforcement types and wants to try and save them from themselves. But, the trouble is, they're going to need to be saved from more than just the bottle.
First things first--do not get me wrong. I like Stallone. How can you not like a guy whose determination kept Rocky his movie, only to go on and make a career, some money and get some Oscar noms out of the deal? And he's not a bad actor. Hell, he's even funny--as the underrated Oscar proved. But unfortunately, he can't seem to get in decent pics anymore. All he appears to be able to do is assemble a cadre of decent actors and then make bad movies with them. One example of that is the incredibly overrated Cop Land; another is this film.
First of all, the writer decided that he needed to hit plot points, and didn't care if getting there made any sense. For example, in the first very sequence, you get Malloy at a bar with some cops and they're having a good time then the subject of the serial killer comes up. Suddenly, everything goes tense and the cops, for the most part, seem to turn on Malloy. Then, just as easily, everything's light and happy again. Hmmm, I need to setup animosity, I'll just drop some in...here. Sloppy.
The major problem, though, is that nobody's given anything to do. Literally, it's like a bunch of actors got together and decided to make a bad slasher flick. Some of the actors really never do anything at all before they're killed. Some barely have lines, like Vance's character--who says maybe five things during the course of the film, and whose best dialogue wound up on the cutting room floor. And maybe this would be okay, but it's obvious from the moment you walk into the detox center who the killer is.
How does Sly do it? How does he get people like Tom Berenger and Jeffrey Wright to basically show up and do...nothing? I don't necessarily think he means to; I think it just happens. The majority of the people, in the anemic "interviews" provided as a feature, apparently signed onto this flick just for the chance to work with Stallone. And where did that get them? Direct to video in the U.S., that's where.
As stated above, the interviews are pretty useless. Most of them weigh in at less than three minutes and are the actors in question talking about their character, how great they think the movie is going to be, and why they loved the script. Which shows their judgement to be dubious at best. The deleted scenes, apart from Vance's lost shining moment, are mostly extended versions of scenes that are already in the film--and don't add that much.
There really isn't much to commend the film, unless you're having MST3K night at your house. Just stay away, if you know what's good for you.
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