(director: Steve Perry; screenwriter: Peter Lenkov; cinematographer: Jan De Bont; editor: Mark Helfrich; music: Jay Ferguson; cast: Jeff Fahey (Parker Kane), Amanda Pays(Sarah), Stellan Skarsgård (Van Adams), Richard Zobel(Jack Moody), Marisa Tomei (April Haynes), Patti LaBelle (club singer), Billy Wirth (Jesse), Alan Rosenburg (Morris), Drew Snyder(Lt. Dunbar Fisk), Chino ‘Fats’ Williams (diner grill man), David Caruso (Joey), Gail O’Grady (Cindy Ellis), James Ingersall (Dr. Bill Powers), Gregory Scot Cumins (Hitman #1), Henry Kingi (Hitman #2); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR producer: Barry Josephson; MGM; 1990)

One of those forgettable and annoying cliche B films about a private dick.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

One of those forgettable and annoying cliche B films about a private dick, that’s lazily directed as a crowd-pleaser by longtime assistant director Steve Perry. The teleplay is weakly written by Peter Lenkov.

It’s set in Long Beach, California. Wise guy struggling macho private investigator Parker Kane (Jeff Fahey), who was kicked off the police force for acting crazy, uses the back booth of a diner as his office. When longtime trucker pal Joey (David Caruso) is killed, Parker, dressed coolly in a leather-jacket, jeans, and cowboy boots, investigates on his own. This irks the police investigators (Richard Zobel & Drew Snyder), who can’t stand him from the time when he was on the force (and I see what they mean). The lone suspect is the wealthy manufacturer Van Adams (Stellan Skarsgård), Joey’s employer, who illegally for big profit runs a ring dumping chemical toxic wastes. The divorced cop thinks of himself as a ladies man, as he flirts with the diner waitress April (Marisa Tomei), romances Van Adams’ PR lady (Amanda Pays) and sulks that his nurse ex-wife (Gail O’Grady) is to marry a doctor (James Ingersall). Parker tries to act the part of a hard-boiled dick, but to me he looks so much like Steve Buscemi that he made me laugh at first-sight.

I wish it didn’t take itself so seriously, because the hero investigator comes off as a conceited jack wagon and the film a waste of nitrate.