RED TEAM (THE CRIMSON CODE) (director: Jeremy Haft; screenwriter: Alex Metcalf; cinematographer: Ian Elkin; editor: Neila Benson; music: Ken Williams; cast: Patrick Muldoon (Jason Chandler), Cathy Moriarty (Stephanie Dobson), Fred Ward (Randall Brooks), Tim Thomerson (William Heywood), C. Thomas Howell(J.B. Gaines), Victor Cowie (Director Wexler); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Paul Colichman/Mark R. Harris; Regent Entertainment; 2000)
“Unconvincing cynical crime drama about FBI corruption over the pursuit of serial killers.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Unconvincing cynical crime drama about FBI corruption over the pursuit of serial killers, with non-nondescript acting, trite dialogue and an uninspiring Alex Metcalf screenplay. Director Jeremy Haft (“Grizzly Mountain”)seems clueless of what to make of the bold premise that an elite FBI team of serial killer pursuers, known as SKAT, are acting as a vigilante group to execute the serial killers instead of arresting them and squanders a good opportunity to make a sound muckraking film.Instead Red Team asks the baseless question, can justice be served by such a rogue group of lawmen? As a result of wasting such an opportunity to tell of how whistle-blowers have to make such tough decisions that will alter their life forever, the thriller works its way through flat scenes, awkwardly shot action scenes and a story line that lacks logic.
Jason Chandler (Patrick Muldoon) is a dedicated young FBI agent attached to SKAT (Serial Killer Apprehension Team), who partners with languid aging female agent Stephanie Dobson (Cathy Moriarty). When Jason suspects someone is targeting a list of known serial killers, he informs his disinterested partner and asks his enthusiastic wheelchair-bound mentor Randall Brooks (Fred Ward), a former FBI agent, to help him through his computer skills. After gathering further conclusive evidence that there’s a serial killer ‘killer’ on the loose, Jason reports this to his FBI boss, the arrogant William Heywood (Tim Thomerson), and is invited to join his close-knit elite Red Team. When Jason observes the Red Team throw a suspected pedophile kidnapper off a bridge instead of arresting him, the honest agent is now sure that the Red Team must be brought down as murderers and that his life is in danger because he knows too much. To escape from the Red Team’s attempt to eliminate him, Jason must team up with a psychopathic serial killer nicknamed by the FBI as The Silencer (C. Thomas Howell), who cuts out the tongues of his victims.
The film was shot in Alberta. It was meant to have a theater release but sat on the shelf after shooting was completed for two years and was then quietly released on video. Though it’s far from a good film, it’s at least watchable and its shortcomings are sometimes quite amusing.
REVIEWED ON 6/1/2012 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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