Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
on July 30, 2002
It's unfortunate to see film maker Mark Malone who's previously shown real talent (Bulletproof Heart) descend to this level. There are more than a few problems plaguing this film, not the least of which are overly formulaic situations and characters.
There's the mob boss played by Daniel Benzali, a fine actor who is here wasted on a script that gives him very little to do other than spew out the tired cliches that all mob bosses do in films like this. There's the ex wife, played by Radha Mitchell, who comes back to her husband, who is, when all is said and done, in love with him after all. Not exactly what could be called original. There's the beleaguered hero, Pally, an ex-cop, played by Kiefer Sutherland, who, at 35, suffers from heart trouble but smokes and drinks anyway. Why? Because he's beleaguered, of course. That seems to be the only reason.
And there's the faithful sidekick, Pally's step-brother, played by Anthony LaPaglia, who offers the only fresh voice in the entire film because he's given the best lines--occasionally--some of which are very funny. But there's nowhere near enough of those funny lines to compensate for a very tired film. Dead tired.
The title refers to a horse racing scheme that LaPaglia's character has dreamed up to net them some cash, but it could just as easily mean the lack of warmth, excitement, and interest that this film generates. There's also a jockey, Tony LaRoche, who has an accent that is completely unfathomable. French? Italian? Eastern European? No one knows. Does it matter? Not really.
Pally gets kicked off the force because he can't handle the pressures of a cop's life thanks to his bum ticker. He holds a gun to his head. But we know he's not gonna pull the trigger. The only reason we know that is because up to that point he's the only character who's been presented, so how could there be a movie without him in it?
Enter his step-brother with the racing scheme. Enter the ex-wife with their, you know, confused relationship. Like, maybe they're still in love and maybe they're not. Does it matter? Nope.
A good film to avoid.