Clint Eastwood's TIGHTROPE, it appears, is a seminal film for the direct-to-video marketplace. In this retwisting of that film noir, a promising female detective muddies the waters of morality by enjoying her walk on the wild side as a hooker just a little too much. Miffed at being regarded a just one of the boys in blue, tomboyish Cindy (Athena Massey)...read more
Clint Eastwood's TIGHTROPE, it appears, is a seminal film for the direct-to-video marketplace. In this retwisting of that film noir, a promising female detective muddies the waters of morality by enjoying her walk on the wild side as a hooker just a little too much.
Miffed at being regarded a just one of the boys in blue, tomboyish Cindy (Athena Massey) leaps at the opportunity to tackle a big homicide case by donning high-priced call girl regalia. Over the objections of her skeptical detective partner, Cindy chooses to use the vice connections of her
superior officer, Sgt. Gold (Tom Tayback), to get hired in a brothel run by the sarge's former flame, Mrs. V. (Meg Foster). Apparently, one of this establishment's bright lights, Tracy (Elena Olanson), ran a blackmail sideline, a franchise shut down permanently by the wealthy john she victimized.
Impressing her madam, Cindy investigates suspects with so much relish she occasionally gets saddled with paying customers instead of plants sent by Sgt. Gold. Willing to give her all, the hooker-cop selectively grills Tracy's coworkers like Rain (Rena Riffel) who's afraid she'll end up the next
casualty, but lets the resident bouncer Ramone (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) shoulder some of the crimebusting heat after she learns he was the late Tracy's brother. With Ramone's cooperation, Cindy plans to draw out the perp with false news about the location of Tracy's missing blackmail negative. The
plan works all too well, and in short order, the mysterious killer strong-arms Rain into locating the missing photos and snuffs out Ramone in a hit-and-run attack outside Cindy's pad. While covering for another prostitute, Cindy discovers Rain tied up in a bathtub and realizes that mild-mannered
customer Jefferson (Mark Kiely) is the murderer. Fortuitously, Mrs. V. arrives and shortens her client list by shooting Jefferson in the back. At last, Cindy not only proves she has the right stuff for solving homicides but finally attracts the romantic eye of her partner. Working as a whore has
been a real learning experience for the rookie cop.
Soft-core film purveyors will do anything to work in their steamy skinflick sequences. At the very least, UNDERCOVER deserves credit for finding an excuse in its scenario for lots of heterosexual wish fulfillment. However, the movie's approach to the heroine's search for career-and-libido
legitimacy is almost Pollyannaish. When confronted with a real customer, this sexually inexperienced cookie just closes her eyes and thinks of the Department. And isn't it lucky that intercourse is never the first priority of her first regulars, who seem to be timid castoffs from BELLE DU JOUR.
UNDERCOVER is recommended only for those stag-movie diehards for whom a little nudity goes a long way. (Extensive nudity, profanity, violence, sexual situations.)
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