Review Date: June 07, 1999
Director: Roger Donaldson
Writer: Robert Garland
Producers: Robert Garland and Laura Ziskin
Kevin Costner as Tom Farrell
Gene Hackman as David Bryce
Hero Navy-boy gets a posh job as a liaison in the Pentagon under the Secretary of Defense, and soon starts up a secret affair with the same man's mistress, initially unbeknownst to him. When the woman in question is killed, our Navy-boy heads up an investigation for the Secretary to find the other man with whom she was having an affair, also believed to be the murderer.
A taut political thriller, this film offers us a touch of sex, plenty of suspense and intrigue webbed inside a cliched 80s soundtrack, a powerhouse performance by Will Patton, and a fascinating look behind the covert walls of the US government's big-wigs. Kevin Costner also pulls off his greatest looking part, while Gene Hackman continues his standout work, chewing right into every one of his morally-challenged lines with fervor. The film itself does take a little while to get going, but once the "chase" is on, it doesn't let up until the very last visually-resounding scene. On the down side, besides the dated soundtrack, I did not particularly enjoy Sean Young's performance or the very last two minutes of the film, which seemed gratuitously tacked on for inexplicable reasons. But even those small oversights don't take away from the fact that this film comes through on all cylinders in respect to plot, tension, acting, suspense and intrigue. All in all, one of the best thrillers to come out of the 80s, and certainly one that still holds up to the test of time.
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian