A virulent throwback to the vigilante movies of the '70s. Field is a respectable middle-class wife and mother who turns into a gun toting suburban Rambette after her daughter's raped and murdered before her very ears (she's on the phone). The police have an airtight case, but a technicality allows the killer to walk free, and Sally takes to following him. What she sees confirms her already low opinion: not only is he bearded, tattooed and Sutherland, he's also rude and unrepentant, tortures animals, and pisses on the sidewalk. For this, he must die. Vigilante thrillers are by nature contrived and manipulative, but Schlesinger's reactionary film knows no bounds when it comes to emotional blackmail. Does it make the crime more terrible that it's committed on the victim's birthday? Are such judicial miscarriages so prevalent that a victim support group could shield a summary execution agency? While assorted authority figures pay lip service to law and order, compassion and forgiveness, their words ring hollow: the film operates as propaganda for capital punishment. Mercifully, it's not very effective propaganda. The characterisation is so thin, and the plotting so crude, it's only the violence which sets this apart from the banalities of TV fare - that and the novelty of seeing Sally Field come on like Travis Bickle.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa|