A TOUGH BOSTON COP, PALLY LEMARR, WHO'S FORCED TO RETIRE, ISUNWILLINGLY TRANSFORMED INTO A CRIMINAL BY HIS BROTHER, RAY, ASMALL-TIME CROOK WITH CONNECTIONS TO THE MOB. WHEN RAYCONVINCES HIM TO JOIN A MONEY-MAKING SCHEME BY... more » PURCHASING A RACEHORSE WITH A LUCRATIVE PAYOFF POTENTIAL.« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 1/15/2012...
I requested this DVD not really sure if I'd like it. This is a really great movie! Hard to imagine Kiefer Sutherland and Anthony LaPaglia as brothers but it works! The truly hard part is seeing Kiefer as a guy in poor health due to heart problems. He is a horse lover and when he gets the opportunity to become part owner in one he is talked into it by his somewhat shady brother. He even rides that horse before the movie ends. The horse with problems becomes a winner! Lots of action and fun in this movie I highly recommend it.
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 07/30/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It's unfortunate to see film maker Mark Malone who's previously shown real talent (Bulletproof Heart) descend to this level. There are more than a few problems plaguing this film, not the least of which are overly formulaic situations and characters.There's the mob boss played by Daniel Benzali, a fine actor who is here wasted on a script that gives him very little to do other than spew out the tired cliches that all mob bosses do in films like this. There's the ex wife, played by Radha Mitchell, who comes back to her husband, who is, when all is said and done, in love with him after all. Not exactly what could be called original. There's the beleaguered hero, Pally, an ex-cop, played by Kiefer Sutherland, who, at 35, suffers from heart trouble but smokes and drinks anyway. Why? Because he's beleaguered, of course. That seems to be the only reason.And there's the faithful sidekick, Pally's step-brother, played by Anthony LaPaglia, who offers the only fresh voice in the entire film because he's given the best lines--occasionally--some of which are very funny. But there's nowhere near enough of those funny lines to compensate for a very tired film. Dead tired. The title refers to a horse racing scheme that LaPaglia's character has dreamed up to net them some cash, but it could just as easily mean the lack of warmth, excitement, and interest that this film generates. There's also a jockey, Tony LaRoche, who has an accent that is completely unfathomable. French? Italian? Eastern European? No one knows. Does it matter? Not really.Pally gets kicked off the force because he can't handle the pressures of a cop's life thanks to his bum ticker. He holds a gun to his head. But we know he's not gonna pull the trigger. The only reason we know that is because up to that point he's the only character who's been presented, so how could there be a movie without him in it? Enter his step-brother with the racing scheme. Enter the ex-wife with their, you know, confused relationship. Like, maybe they're still in love and maybe they're not. Does it matter? Nope.A good film to avoid."
Very amusing movie
Tsuyoshi | 05/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Great to see Kiefer as a regular guy instead of a bad guy or tough guy. Loved the interaction between Kiefer's character Pally and Anthony LaPaglia's Ray as step brothers from opposite sides of the law who end up buying a race horse together. Nothing bothers Ray while Pally gets more and more stress as they get deeper into trouble. Very entertaining."
Unmemorable Except for the Leading Actors' Good Acting
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 10/16/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Kiefer Sutherland stars in `Dead Heat' a crime drama in which the star of hit TV series `24' can show more tender side of the character than he is often associated with. He plays Pally, 35-year-old Boston cop who is forced to retire because of the heart problem, and his acting is very good. Overall, however, there is not much that I can recommend in `Dead Heat' except some nice touch in showing the characters. The film tries to include as many things as possible, but few of them really materialize.
The story looks rather like a familiar one. Because of his early retirement, Pally starts to drink, and even thinks of committing suicide. His relationship with his estranged wife Charlotte (Rhada Mitchell) is not going well and he is not happy to know that she is now going out with someone else.
But Charlotte is also nice and caring, so she persuades Pally's brother Ray (Anthony LaPaglia) to visit him. Ray, who is accused of not being a law-abiding citizen by his too earnest brother, has a good plan to make money easily, and offers it to Pally. It is about buying a racehorse cheap, he says, and it is an easy job because he happens to know that the horse, which has not win any races recently, is actually misdiagnosed, only suffering from a polyp a small operation can remove.
When everything is going well, things get suddenly complicated because of a gambling-addicted jockey Tony (Lothaire Bluteau). From here, the story snowballs into blackmail, caper and even murder, but the film's overall tone is always light, not taking itself very seriously.
Unfortunately, for all their effective acting from Sutherland, LaPaglia, Mitchell, and Bluteau, the weak and unsure direction totally fails to give momentum to the otherwise unremarkable film. It is not funny when it tries to make us funny, and it is not romantic when it tries to be romantic. Feeble direction simply misses several good opportunities to make good use of the jockey's sullen little daughter Sam (Kay Panabaker, her feature debut), who could have been a little surprise (or gem) in this unconvincing plot.
It is true that Kiefer Sutherland shows in `Dead Heat' another side of acting talent, which is less eccentric and intense than most of the roles he had played, or he would play. That is good news, and the only good news here."
C. M. Overill | 02/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have not laughed so much in years as when I watched this film. Kiefer Sutherland is excellent at comedy. His timing and expressions are perfect and he has a great partner in Anthony Lapaglia. If you are expecting an edge of your seat thriller as it mistakenly says on the DVD of I Fought the Law ( the alternative name of the film) then you will be disappointed. If you just want to sit back, relax and have a good laugh then this is certainly for you. It is lovely to see a different side to Kiefer Sutherland and such a relief if you are a 24 fan and worry about Jack's depressing life rubbing off on him. I have never regretted buying it, it has taken its place as one of my favourite films."