Co-scripted by Elmore Leonard from his own novel, starting out with black-and-white footage of war-torn Santo Domingo before jumping to the palmless tat of a Florida motel, this is a typical Leonard brew: extreme passion and violence interspersed with mature characterisations, wit, and a non-judgemental attitude. Weller leads a splendid cast as George Moran, a laid-back motelier who dreams about his paratrooper past and about the wife (McGillis) of a particularly sadistic Dominican ex-police chief (Milian)who has a thing about testicles and garden shears. On the way, from quirky opening to woozily abrupt climax, we pick up low-life and hustler, big-wig and flunky, as George finds himself tangling not only with the powerful hubby but with the wonderfully decrepit, ruthless figure of Jiggs Scully, played by Charles Durning as if Blood Simple had collided with The Killers. Jiggs isn't after the lady (perish the thought) but the generalissimo's loot. Both Durning and Forrest, as a boozy drifter, excel in a gripping thriller marred only by some precious and unrevealing voice-overs presumably meant to remind us that Leonard is nearer to Hammett and Chandler than Miami Vice.
Cast and crew
Elmore Leonard, Jim Borelli
Kelly McGillis Charles Durning Kelly Jo Minter Peter Weller Frederic Forrest Tomas Milian Juan Fernandez Phil Leeds