|RELENTLESS (director: William Lustig; screenwriter: Phil Alden Robinson; cinematographer: James Lemmo; editor: David Kern; music: Jay Chattaway; cast: Judd Nelson (Buck), Robert Loggia (Bill Malloy), Leo Rossi (Sam Dietz), Meg Foster (Carol Dietz), Patrick O'Bryan (Todd Arthur), Ken Lerner (Arthur), Mindy Seeger (Francine), Angel Tompkins (Carmen), Beau Starr (Ike Taylor), Harrirt Hall (Angela Taylor); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Howard Smith; New Line Cinema; 1989)|
undemanding suspense yarn."
by Dennis Schwartz
Lustig ("Uncle Sam"/"Far Out Man"/"Maniac
Cop 2") directs this violent but
undemanding suspense yarn, noted for its outstanding
chase scenes and the best performance in Judd Nelson's
career, It's weakly written by Phil
Alden Robinson, the director of Field of Dreams
(1989). The so-so pic for some
unfathomable reason spawned three sequels.
LAPD turns down Judd Nelson's application for
a policeman's job. The deranged Judd subsequently
becomes a bloody serial killer, who picks his targets
from the phone book and forces them to assist in their
own execution. At the crime scene he taunts the cops
by leaving a message addressed to their ineptness on a
a ripped-out page from the phone book. The psycho uses
his knowledge of how the LA cops operate to outsmart
them. Flashbacks retrace his troubled childhood,
dealing with an abusive LA cop father (Beau
Starr), who made child-rearing into a boot
camp police experience.
features the efforts of the dedicated cops, the
gung-ho rookie transfer from NYC Leo Rossi and his
more mellow veteran partner Robert Loggia, to bring in
the madman, known as the ‘Sunset Killer,’
despite their different attitudes toward their work.
Meg Foster is Rossi's supportive wife.
No surprises in this unimaginative but technically capable cops and robbers drama.
REVIEWED ON 9/2/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ