Harold Becker directs Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin and John Goodman in this cop thriller where a detective tries to find a serial killer who is selecting their victims from the lonely hearts ads and then falls for the only suspect he hasn’t cleared.
Becker struggles to find a consistent tone here with Richard Price’s script. Scenes shunt awkwardly from hard boiled policier into the realms of erotic thriller and then over to romantic comedy with little grace. The whole shebang is essentially a heterosexual Cruising. Yet Pacino feels untethered, struggling to match the unusually aggressive heat generated by an outstanding Barkin or that natural charisma of Goodman. It proves a grand movie for character actor spotting; half the cast of The West Wing is floating about while Richard Jenkins, Michael Rooker and Samuel L Jackson get memorable moments. Shame that as both a star vehicle for Al and a straightforward genre piece in general it is pretty meh.
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