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Hollow Point Reviews

This jaunty crime thriller aims for the black comedy of PRIZZI'S HONOR as well as the fizzy tang of the best caper films, but an overly dense script and lackluster direction bog it down. Posing as the intended bride of a Russian Mafioso's son, FBI agent Diane Norwood (Tia Carrere) almost arrests her groom's kingpin father, Oleg Krezinsky (David Hemblen), during her nuptials. Unfortunately, her clever sting is compromised by desk-bound DEA agent Max Perish (Thomas Ian Griffith), who wants to nab Krezinsky as proof that he can still excel in the field. While the two feds clash, Krezinsky and his silent partner, Thomas Livingston (John Lithgow), decide to teach meddling Norwood a lesson by hiring an assassin, Garret Lawton (Donald Sutherland), to poison Norwood's best friend, Vicky (Lisa Bronwyn Moore). Meanwhile, Livingston's syndicate prepares to pull off one final mega-million dollar money transfer, even though his associates, Krezinsky, Capucci (Carl Alacchi), and Chan (Robert Ito) nurse doubts about Livingston's good intentions. Despite being at war with each other, Norwood and Perish capture Lawton, who has learned that Livingston plans to eliminate him as a loose end. After the assassin escapes, the feds recapture Lawton from a Russian hit squad. Norwood and Perish are then forced to trust Lawton, who advises the feds to pit Livingston against his partners. Perish, Norwood, and Lawton stir up sentiments against Livingston at the docks, until Norwood becomes seduced by the fortunes changing hands. Eventually returning to her senses, Norwood crushes Livingston to death with a transport-loader. Driving off with a truckload of cash, Lawton leaves behind enough loot for Perish and Norwood to emerge as heroes at their respective agencies for busting the syndicate. Despite their personal attractiveness, leads Griffith and Carrere have no flair for tongue-in-cheek effervescence. That's why HOLLOW POINT is fortunate to have the demented duo of Lithgow and Sutherland, who know how to camp up their villainy with star-power gusto. HOLLOW POINT is jam-packed with careening plot twists and double-crosses, but suffice it to say, this white-collar crime fable is about the life expectancy of betrayal. Norwood and Perish learn that trust is a crapshoot at the hands of their homicidal mentor, Lawton. The problems plaguing the cynical HOLLOW POINT stem from the screenplay's tendency to revisit the same ground. Lacking subtle direction, the film can't move past its over-plotted back-stabbings. At times the nasty comic edge becomes oppressive, as if the director felt the need to oversell the punch line. But thanks to clever one-liners and Lithgow's and Sutherland's puckish performances, HOLLOW POINT entertains as often as it exasperates. (Extreme profanity, violence, substance abuse, adult situations.)