Dennis Meechum (Brian Dennehy) is a cop who can write — lurid crime novels, that is. But when his own wife succumbs to cancer, Meechum suffers a chronic case of writer’s block. Enter former hit man — and fame-seeker — Cleve (James Woods), whose former employer kidnapped Meechum’s daughter. Together, the two men embark on a cross-country trek tracing Cleve’s murder spree. It’ll make good fodder for a book … if Meechum lives to write it.
John Flynn (March 14, 1932 – April 4, 2007) was an American film director and screenwriter known for making efficient, no-nonsense crime-thrillers The Outfit and Rolling Thunder.
Flynn was raised in Hermosa Beach, California and served in the Coast Guard, It was during this stint that he studied journalism with Roots author Alex Haley. Flynn received a degree in journalism from UCLA.
He began his cinematic career as an apprentice to director Robert Wise on Odds Against Tomorrow and worked as the script supervisor on West Side Story. From there, Flynn worked as a second unit director on Kid Galahad and The Great Escape. He made his debut as a director with The Sergeant starring Rod Steiger.
Flynn’s substantial commercial success was with The Outfit starring Robert Duvall. The filmmaker achieved a dedicated cult following with the gritty revenge thriller, Rolling Thunder starring William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones.
In 1994, he directed the cult classic Brainscan… read more
Low-key by current standards, but saturated throughout with a genuine, darkly-humored unease. After a terrific opening sequence dealing with a heist-full of robbers in Nixon masks, and a first act during which I was intrigued by the seeming possibility that the Woods' character was all in Dennehy's head, it settles into a sort of battle of wills between Dennehy's bruised idealism and Woods' sentimental psychopathy.
What amazed me the most, this time around, was the way the emotions shift, especially in Woods's character. Sound - silence, love - hate, murder - sacrifice. There's always a bridge to opposites. To protagonists and antagonists. And to every action there's a consequence, when that is felt at every shot, when a gaze has a meaning without the need of words to explain it, we're witnessing something truly special.