Although this mystery starts off enticingly, it loses sight of its original, RASHOMON-like premise, which is predicated on dueling motives. Detectives Bijou (Barry Burke) and Stevenson (Kane Picoy) rummage through conflicting evidence in the homicide of CEO Josh Damott (Eric Roberts). Was it womanizing or creative accounting that caused his downfall? Like Enron, Josh's firm misled its investors by pre-booking promised capital and though the company itself would have survived an SEC investigation, investors would have taken a bath. Mob big-shot Thomas Petrillo (Cas Anvar), for example, would have lost a cool $50 million. The paranoid Thomas wonders whether Josh could have siphoned funds into a Cayman Islands' account before faking his own death, and keeping a sharp eye on Josh's luscious widow, Dana (Brigitte Bako). Stevenson, meanwhile, is smitten with Dana and totally buys her version of events; she points the finger at Josh's partner, Michael Bartlett (David Lipper). Dana's theory, that Michael blamed the Mafia's misfortune on Josh before executing him, gains credence after someone takes a shot at her. But Michael, who was dallying with Dana, insists that she couldn't tolerate sharing Josh's wealth any longer. A blackmailer claims to have seen Michael ditching the murder weapon, and after the blackmailer bites the dust during a rendezvous with Michael and Dana the detectives face a dead end. Michael and Dana both had opportunity and motive; mobster Petrillo still clings to his conspiracy theory. The real killer proves manipulative enough to leave a host of patsies behind. Can the cops dig up enough evidence to convict anyone? This mixed-up mystery shifts awkwardly from narration by the crime victim to finger pointing by the key suspects, and alert viewers will see how the story is going to play itself out far too early in the game. The film's initial cleverness succumbs to too much juggling of clues.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: R
- Review: Although this mystery starts off enticingly, it loses sight of its original, RASHOMON-like premise, which is predicated on dueling motives. Detectives Bijou (Barry Burke) and Stevenson (Kane Picoy) rummage through conflicting evidence in the homicide of CE… (more)