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Under Suspicion Reviews

Not even the high-caliber talents of Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman can save this stagy, ridiculously over-baked psychological thriller, set in Puerto Rico during the Festival of San Sebastian. While on his way to a charity dinner, Puerto Rico's top tax attorney, Henry Hearst (Hackman), is kindly requested by old acquaintance Captain Victor Benezet (Freeman), the island's top cop, to stop by the local police station for questioning. It seems that while out jogging the previous day, Hearst stumbled across the body of a thirteen-year-old Puerto Rican girl, the second murdered girl found in as many weeks. Hearst called the police, but a few aspects of his story don't quite add up, and Benezet and hotheaded Detective Owens (Thomas Jane) are suspicious. Hearst, for his part, accuses Benezet of political ambition, and of exploiting Hearst's standing as a pillar of the legal community to boost his own career. Take a long night of accusations and denials, throw in a beautiful, bored wife (Nydia Caro) with a grudge against her powerful husband, and you'd think director Stephen Hopkins would have wound up with something. But you'd be wrong. Hopkins, who began his career with a, installment of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series and was one of the few human beings behind LOST IN SPACE, is far better suited to directing special effects; he lacks the finesse with actors that might have pulled this off. The actors are left to their own devices: Freeman spends most of his time whipping his glasses off his face in a show of outraged justice, while Jane chooses to rave rather than act. Even the usually understated Hackman delivers a mannered performance, trilling about the station with his gold-tipped cigarettes and spouting excruciating dialogue: "If having a difficult marriage makes one a murderer, you'd be the Son of Sam!" "Touche," Freeman responds. Come again?