Point Of Origin

  • 2002
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime, Drama

Though based real events, this made-for-cable movie about a serial arsonist takes a drably matter-of-fact approach to its literally incendiary subject matter. Los Angeles fire department arson investigator John Orr (Ray Liotta) has an enviable record, spotting tiny clues that lead to the firebug who torched a building. Many investigators who trained under...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Though based real events, this made-for-cable movie about a serial arsonist takes a drably matter-of-fact approach to its literally incendiary subject matter. Los Angeles fire department arson investigator John Orr (Ray Liotta) has an enviable record, spotting tiny clues that lead to the firebug who torched a building. Many investigators who trained under Orr have gone on to stellar careers in the ATF, including Keith Lang (John Leguizamo), but Orr is happy being a big fish in a little pond. ATF supervisor Mike Matassa (Colm Feore) and Fire Chief Gray (Ronny Cox) solicit his help as a consultant when they find themselves perplexed by a rash of unsolved fires, each with a similar and distinctive profile. Even with Orr's expertise, it takes a while for a dreadful pattern to emerge: Each fire broke out along a route leading to a firefighters' convention and coincided with the events. The conclusion is inescapable; the fire starter is one of their own. Suspician falls naturally on Aaron Stiller, an elusive nutcase who deals with a rejection by cuffing the offending woman inside her apartment and setting it afire. Orr, however, is unable to focus on the investigation after his wife discovers his infidelity. Even so, faced with circumstantial evidence he can't ignore, Lang comes to a disturbing conclusion. Lang's superiors order him to conceal his internal investigation from his colleagues while Matassa and a tactical team initiate a sting operation. The revelation of the arsonist's identity stuns the man's family and friends. This gritty true crime picture is never as gripping as it ought to be; despite persuasive performances, alert viewers will deduce the arsonist's identity too quickly.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Though based real events, this made-for-cable movie about a serial arsonist takes a drably matter-of-fact approach to its literally incendiary subject matter. Los Angeles fire department arson investigator John Orr (Ray Liotta) has an enviable record, spot… (more)

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