Slow moving and directionless noir thriller. Nick Nolte is Detective Max Hoover, head of the Hat Squad (a fact based group of LA detectives formed in the ’50s to fight organized crime). When the Squad (also including Chazz Palminteri, Michael Madsen, and Chris Penn) begin to investigate the unusual murder of a mysterious woman (Jennifer Connelly), they uncover secrets some people would prefer left uncovered (notably the head of the Atomic Energy Commission, played by John Malkovich). To complicate matters, Hoover recently had an affair with the woman…a secret he’s managed to keep from his devoted wife (Melanie Griffith). Unfortunately, Nolte does a bungled job of acting. His blank expressionless face never reveals his true feelings toward either his lover or his wife. But at least Hoover is better developed than his compatriots. Only Chazz Palminteri is gifted with the slightest of character quirks (he visits a shrink). Poor Madsen and Penn are virtually extras in hats. The story, for all its noirish content, is surprisingly free of pesky plot twists. From the outset, the film is completely straightforward, with little doubt as to who the bad guys are. With no strong characters, and a plot that leaves little to ponder, you would at least hope for some good action sequences. What a surprise, zero for three. About the only thing worth seeing in this film is the cinematography, which captures some good shots in noir fashion…but, they only serve to remind how good this film should have been.
Tag CloudAction Animated Anthony Hopkins Antonio Banderas Ben Stiller Biopic Bruce Willis Christopher Walken Comedy Crime Danny DeVito Denzel Washington Documentary Drama Eddie Murphy Ewan McGregor Gene Hackman Gwyneth Paltrow Harrison Ford Horror Joan Cusack John Malkovich John Travolta Julianne Moore Julia Roberts Kevin Kline Kevin Spacey Meg Ryan Nicolas Cage Robert DeNiro Robert Downey Jr. Robin Williams Romance Romantic Comedy Samuel L. Jackson Sandra Bullock Science Fiction Shakespeare Sharon Stone Spoof Sports Superhero Thriller William H. Macy Woody Harrelson