A romantic thriller which confirms Towne's outstanding talent as a screenwriter, but like Personal Best, leaves doubts about his skill as a director. Gibson is an ex-drugs dealer looking for a way out, Russell is the relentless cop who's out to nail his old high school pal, and Pfeiffer is a beautiful restaurant owner suspected of fronting for Gibson's drugs business. Gibson is in the clear until another old friend, dealer Julia, calls in one last favour involving several million dollars worth of drug money. The set-up has the precision of fine needlepoint, picking out the plot outline before embroidering it with a complex pattern of interwoven relationships. Pfeiffer is perfect as the immaculately dressed and icily controlled restaurateur caught between Gibson's honest (ex-)criminal and Russell's ambiguously motivated cop. For while Gibson is totally up-front about both his shady past and his emotions, Russell's romantic advances are overlaid by professional interest in his rival's criminal activities. Sadly, when Julia finally shows up, this fascinating exploration of the limits of friendship, loyalty and trust gives way to explosive action and empty pyrotechnics.