David Morse can simmer with the best of them, but as Eugene ìMackî McCanick, a Philadelphia narcotics detective with a dark secret and a soul to match, he gives a performance that belies his quality as the idiomatic watched pot. Unfortunately, he blows his lid early and far too often, boiling over so many times that, by the filmís end, the plotís fluidity, like Mackís credibility, has long since evaporated.
This cop thriller, directed by Josh C. Waller from a script by Daniel Noah, has admirable intentions, and it generated some decent buzz due to a supporting turn from Cory Monteith, the Glee star who died of a drug overdose at the age of 31 in July 2013. Itís a real shame, because Monteith is quite good as a brooding young hustler named Simon Weeks, who was jailed at 17 for murder but was recently released from prison. Mack played a key role in putting him away seven years ago, and freaks out when he discovers -- three months after the fact -- that Simon is now free. And even though Mack is practically begged by his sympathetic captain (Ciaran Hinds) to let sleeping dogs lie, he begins an ill-advised, daylong quest to find Simon and, quite possibly, make sure no one hears from him ever again.
Morse is also one of the filmís producers and reportedly campaigned to shoot it in his adopted home of the City of Brotherly Love, which provides a suitably dingy milieu of back alleys, vacant lots, sketchy street corners, subway platforms, and ramshackle apartments -- The Philadelphia Story, this ainít. His six-foot-four frame, aging and creaky, lumbers through all of these backdrops, some more than once, and Mackís physical exhaustion, mental unraveling, and professional disintegration are palpable as the hours roll by.
But Mackís mindless obsession and egregious procedural missteps not only get his partner (Mike Vogel) accidentally shot, they also mirror the clumsy revelation of his conflict with Simon, which is leaked in drips and drabs in flashbacks depicting a hazy relationship that is borne out of pity and winds up bordering on pitiful. In the present, Mack wakes up early, on his birthday no less, anticipating a long-awaited reunion with his estranged son, but that reconciliation grows increasingly unlikely as the day spirals out of control. Likewise, by the climax of the film, a once-promising vehicle turns out to be a clunker for Morse and a ride into the sunset for Monteith.
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- Released: 2013
- Rating: R
- Review: David Morse can simmer with the best of them, but as Eugene ìMackî McCanick, a Philadelphia narcotics detective with a dark secret and a soul to match, he gives a performance that belies his quality as the idiomatic watched pot. Unfortunately, he blows his… (more)