Not another Vietnam War film but a pacy, violent thriller set in the sleazy red light district of Saigon in 1968. Two US Army cops (Dafoe and Hines) think a serial prostitute killer may be one of their own top brass. A previous investigator and key witnesses have been frightened into silence or simply killed off. Backed up by their staff sergeant (Ward), they whittle the suspects down to five, but pressure from above squashes the investigation, forcing them to go it alone. Later, with the help of a streetwise nun (Pays), they locate a vital eye-witness who has disappeared into the VC tunnel complex on the outskirts of the city. Like these labyrinthine tunnels, the plot twists and turns, but Crowe never loses his sense of direction, sustaining the suspense and staging the action scenes with admirable vigour; the result, although the Saigon setting is simply a seedily exotic backdrop, is an auspicious first feature.
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