Cast: Michael Douglas, Jesse Metcalfe; Director: Peter Hyams; Producers: Mark Damon, Limor Diamant, Mosche Diamant, Michael P. Flannigan, Ted Hartly, Peter Hyams; Screenwriters: Peter Hyams, Douglas Morrow; Music: David Shire; Editor: Jeff Gullo; Genre: Action, Drama; Cinematography: Peter Hyams; Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment; Location: USA; Running Time: 105 min.;
Technical Assessment: 2.5
Moral Assessment: 2.5
CINEMA Rating: For mature viewers 18 and above
Ambitious TV reporter and journalist C.J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) is doubtful of star district attorney Mark Hunter's way of putting criminals behind bars. C.J. is convinced that Hunter presents planted evidence through DNA results in cases reliant on circumstantial evidence in order to convict criminals and set outstanding record for his political ambitions. As C.J. aspires for a Pulitzer Prize, he frames himself for the murder of a prostitute to prove his convictions about Hunter. He records himself setting-up circumstantial evidence point to him until he is caught. He then waits for the perfect timing in court to catch Hunter in the act of presenting falsified evidence. But then Hunter turns out to be more ruthless than he thought so things do not turn out as planned.
The film is an inferior remake of a 50's film noir. The premise remains to be controversial and interesting but apparently flawed and quite stupid. Implicating one's self in a crime to prove a point is preposterous especially if what's at stake is just an ambitious and imaginary award like a Pulitzer for TV reporting. The first act is definitely dragging and boring and Tamblyn's role is nothing but functional until the end of second act. Douglas delivers well but appears over-the-top in the presence of amateurish Metcalfe. The film gets exciting though towards the climax but the display of other twists and turns is quite a disappointment and spoils the entire experience of viewers.
The film effectively portrays how one's ambitions could turn into corruption. One that is present even in the judicial system just for one’s personal interest and gain. Hunter's character is a clear manifestation of the flawed justice system. But Nicholas' selfish ambition does not make any difference. His interest is pure and noble at the onset and the journalistic method to find out the truth is commendable but it proves to be as cruel, if not more cruel than Hunter's. In the end, the audience is left with more questions and a stronger dismay of truth's relativity and elusiveness. Farrel's character, although functional, has remained consistently pure and loyal to truth and justice which eventually prevailed in the story. One very disturbing message though is the casual sexual intercourse between her and Nicholas which is obviously outside the confines of marriage. This and the film's entire theme and premise are fit only for audiences 18 years old and above.