Using the LETHAL WEAPON formula of mismatched police partners, but with absolutely no humor, SUSPICIOUS AGENDA shows a world in which there seems to be little life outside the precinct.
Tony Costagna (Richard Grieco) is a loose cannon, due to the recent murder of his partner. Called into a hostage situation in which a cop has been killed, he confronts the killer and insults him. His method is spoiled by fellow officer Jimmy Devane (Nick Mancuso). Jimmy, a straight arrow, tries to
disarm the killer, who flees in Tony's car. After an improbable scene with Tony chasing the car on foot, he subdues the killer.
Tony finds himself partnered with Jimmy on a task force to find the Lead Killer, who murders recently freed criminals by forcing them to ingest hot lead. The leader of the task force, Lt. Rayburn (Jim Byrnes), believes that the killer is a cop, and all signs point to Tony. Rayburn arranges the
release of the killer of Tony's partner to serve as bait. Once Jimmy realizes that Rayburn suspects Tony, he starts to lose control. He, it turns out, is the Lead Killer. He knocks Tony out and goes to kill the criminal Rayburn has just set free. Tony follows him, finds Rayburn shot and his
partner's killer about to be given lead. He reads Jimmy his rights, but is forced to shoot him when Jimmy draws his gun.
With its predictability and one note performances, SUSPICIOUS AGENDA completely lacks suspense, the one element crucial in a film like this. The audience knows that Tony cannot be the killer, which leaves only Jimmy, since the remaining task force members are barely visible. The task force itself
is so politically correct, there is one African-American and even one Native American member. The film also is manipulative in its portrayal of criminals as so heartless that they deserve death.
Grieco seems tortured throughout the film. Mancuso, by contrast, is totally monotone until his character starts to lose it, at which point he goes over the top. They show no chemistry either as partners or as enemies. The film does look good, however. The grittiness of the cityscape shows higher
production values than most direct-to-video releases. Still, it has no more realism than a TV cop drama, and does not merit status as a feature-length production. (Violence, nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: Using the LETHAL WEAPON formula of mismatched police partners, but with absolutely no humor, SUSPICIOUS AGENDA shows a world in which there seems to be little life outside the precinct. Tony Costagna (Richard Grieco) is a loose cannon, due to the recent m… (more)