Raymond Avila (Andy Garcia) works for the Internal Affairs Department with his partner Amy Wallace (Laurie Metcalf). Dennis Peck (Richard Gere) is a police officer who peaks Avila and Wallace's interest when they discover that the lifestyle & money that he has acquired does not seem consistent with those of a regular police officer. Avila and Wallace begin investigating Peck, but Peck is more dangerous than they both envisaged and both Avila and Wallace soon find themselves on a dangerous collision course with Peck.
I'm really not sure what director Mike Figgis was doing here, but for the most part Internal Affairs was neither thrilling nor particularly dramatic. I understand that certain films will have a slow-burn approach (which I presume is the approach used by Figgis), but nothing particularly interesting happens. Figgis seems to be content with characters chatting to each other including a couple of rather flat exchanges between Gere and Garcia but that's about all he can seem to muster. Avila and Wallace are supposed to be investigating Peck but it never really feels like much of an investigation to me and for that reason the story unfolds without much tension or intensity. The main problem with this film is that there is no excitement, no spark, and no memorable scenes or dialogue and as a result of all of these things I found the story boring and uninteresting.
Oddly though this sort of changed at about the 80 minute mark - the film suddenly kicks into life and it almost felt like Figgis' had suddenly woke up and thought 'S**t I'm supposed to be making a crime thriller here'. There was some intensity in the last 30 minutes which at least made the race to the finish line that little bit more bearable.
The cast were another problem here with both Garcia and Gere being in sleep mode here - although strangely enough they both seemed to wake up at about the 80 minute mark as well. Gere is OK throughout the film, but Garcia has never been an actor that I've been able to take to. He only seems to be able to do either quiet and restrained OR all out yelling and overacting - there is a middle ground in between that Garcia never seems to be able to find. The ending is predictable and the story throws up no real surprises along the way.
There's nothing really wrong with the script, but this film really needed a director at the helm who understands the genre. Figgis is out of his depth here and pretty much wastes all of the potential on offer by having nearly all of the cast standing round doing nothing. With a more competent director this probably would have been watchable, but as it is it's a bit of a yawner.
Crime / Drama / Thriller
Crime / Drama / Thriller
Keen young Raymond Avila joins the Internal Affairs Department of the Los Angeles police. He and partner Amy Wallace are soon looking closely at the activities of cop Dennis Peck whose financial holdings start to suggest something shady. Indeed Peck is involved in any number of dubious or downright criminal activities. He is also devious, a womaniser, and a clever manipulator, and he starts to turn his attention on Avila.
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September 10, 2017 at 05:32 AM