|TEQUILLA SUNRISE (director/writer: Robert Towne; cinematographer: Conrad Hall; editor: Claire Simpson; music: Dave Gruisin; cast: Mel Gibson (Dale Mckussic), Kurt Russell (Nick Frescia), Michelle Pfeiffer (Jo Ann Vallenari), Raul Julia (Escalante), J.T. Walsh (Maguire), Arliss Howard (Gregg); Runtime: 116; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Thom Mount ; Warner; 1988)|
by Dennis Schwartz
Towne ("Without Limits"/"Ask The
Dust"/"Personal Best"), the noted screenwriter of
Chinatown, helms and writes this muddled
thriller. It's hard for me to get enthused over
following characters I disliked.
guy divorced Southern California drug dealer Dale
Mckussic (Mel Gibson), living on the beach with
his son, is trying to become a legit businessman. But
he's tempted to be in on one last big deal so he can
take care of his son for life. Nick Frescia
(Kurt Russel) is a Lieutenant Detective
with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and
was Dale's close friend from childhood. DEA officer
Maguirre (J.T. Walsh) informs Nick that word
on the street is that Mexican drug kingpin Escalante
(Raul Julia) is bringing in a shipment. He's Dale's
usual business partner.
Jo Ann Vallenari (Michelle Pfeiffer), owner of their favorite local Italian restaurant, is involved romantically with both men.
the story meanders between the romantic love triangle
and the drug deal, we are left trying to figure
out who will Jo Anne choose since the cop is a devious
womanizer and the rival might be straight-forward but
is a criminal. Also, we are left guessing if
Dale could ever give up the lucrative drug business
and will his old pal pinch him. Plot twists come
through noirish double-crosses in the final act, but
by then you might have snoozed off.
REVIEWED ON 5/13/2016 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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