Well Done Mystery
H. Mark Eudaly | St. Louis area, MO | 05/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Almost Hitchcock-like, this movie keeps you interested. I am writing this review before the DVD is released, but after viewing the movie three times - I'm hooked!The accuracy of the costumes and the beauty of the New Zealand setting easily let your imagination place you right in this World War II drama. Give this film two minutes of your time and you'll be so deeply entrenched in the story you won't even be able to pause the DVD.Rod Steiger gives one of his classic performances, and Tony Goldwyn (the guy you loved to hate in "Ghost") keeps you wondering whether he's a good guy or bad guy.As the story unfolds, the twists and turns play on your emotions and keep your logic hard at work. This is a wonderful movie, and I am buying a copy for my parents just to take them on a trip back to a time long gone."
WELL-ACTED, GRITTY MURDER MYSTERY
Waitsel Smith | Atlanta, GA USA | 09/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tony Goldwyn (Joshua, Tarzan, An American Rhapsody) delivers one of his best performances as an American officer stationed in New Zealand during WWII, who finds himself being drawn into the world of tattoo parlors, prostitution and conspiracy as he investigates the murder of one of his buddies. He also finds himself being drawn into a relationship with one of the local nurses, played by Kerry Fox (Shallow Grave), whose job is to follow up on reports of venereal disease. Their relationship is one of antagonism vs. attraction, as he tries to enlist her help in finding evidence for his case; but she resists, reading him as just another opportunistic, disease spreading Yank, and having a health related mystery of her own to solve. The writers are purposefully ambivalent about the nature of Goldwyn's character, which is part of the fun. The two finally get together; but as they do, the danger intensifies.
The script for this film is excellent, the production values are high, and the plot is intriguing. Most of the acting is superb, especially that of the two leads, Goldwyn and Fox. This is a film done in the style of LA Confidential (but predates it), with no qualms about showing the sleaziness of such a world. But it redeems itself through the quality traits of the two main characters, who obviously don't belong to that world. It also shows a side of WWII that is a bit different, being set in New Zealand, with an interesting premise for the conspiracy that may or may not be true. If you can get past the well-deserved R-rated context, this film is very entertaining and well worth the time.