Murder at 1600
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Wesley Snipes plays a Washington, D.C., homicide detective who is called in to investigate a murder in the White House and becomes embroiled in a top-level cover-up plot.
There were two movies about murder and the U.S. presidency released in 1997, and when you compare it to Absolute Power, this one is clearly the lesser of the two. That doesn't mean it's a bad movie, but it does make it a mildly disappointing one, and it illustrates the hazards of crafting a film to fit the persona of its leading man. In this case, you've got Wesley Snipes, a young, savvy man of action, playing a Washington, D.C., police detective assigned to investigate the murder of a woman in the White House. The president's son is a prime suspect, but there's a cover-up underway that forces Snipes to intensify his investigation beyond normal parameters. For a while at least, this makes Murder at 1600 a sharp and interesting film, and while the national security advisor (Alan Alda) seems highly cooperative (but don't be so sure), Snipes meets a secret service member (Diane Lane) who shares his belief in a high-level conspiracy. Unfortunately, that's when the film takes a downward plunge, resorting to a series of thriller clichés including an unlikely chase through secret tunnels beneath the White House. We're not suggesting this couldn't happen, but it's the kind of thing you typically see in movies that have run out of original ideas before they're over. Kinda makes you want to watch Absolute Power again, doesn't it? --Jeff Shannon
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I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it but also, as with most films set in Washington, D. C. the geography is not quite right. This movie does have some humor as the fact that Wesley Snipes is about to be evicted from his home by some government agency and the tenants in the building think that as a detective, he could influence the eviction.
If this movie was coming out now, I do not know if it would be worth the price of a ticket at the multiplex but to rent it and watch it at home would be fine. Especially if you are a fan of Snipes, Alda, or Diane Lane. They are all fine. The movie could have been a bit better written. Dennis Miller is Snipes partner but he comes and goes in the movie and this hurts his overall impact in the film. The actor who plays the president seems a little weak to actually be a president. I guess that you should realize that this is fiction and not realism.