Carnahan's first movie was Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane, ingredients that also figure in this confident step up into the mainstream. Octane, especially. An opening chase sequence sets the pace, with Patric's Detective Tellis and Alex Nepomniaschy's Steadicam careering after a perp bearing loaded needles. Tellis shoots him, but a pregnant by-stander is wounded - and the cop's suspended. Liotta sinks his teeth into his meatiest role for some time as Detective Henry Oak, who takes the good cop/bad cop routine as his personal credo. Grim-faced Patric gets to sit by and feel his partner's heat, apparently figuring out some way to contain him: an absorbing tension in itself. These are substantial performances in a visually arresting thriller - at least until it gets caught up in a lugubrious flashback denouement. If Carnahan keeps wrenching this material back an inch or two from cliché, it's only an inch or two. At least he has good taste, harking back to superior TV cop shows like Hill Street Blues and Homicide to give his protagonists conflicted aspirations that go beyond job and duty.
Cast and crew
Alan C Peterson