Sandy, but not Gritty.
Apparently this is based on a true story. The author of the book that gave birth to the script was actually a police officer some place in Texas. In the movie, a young protege (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is plucked from some sort of police academy to be the new partner of our seasoned but virile undercover narcotics office (Jason Patric). Jim teaches Kristen the ropes of working undercover - more specifically he lets her know that they work with out safety ropes. They are in deep and often have to snort/shoot/pop drugs to prove "they're cool" with the various web of dealers. They are aiming for the head of the system and it is a long road so that means Jim and Kristen end up doing a lot of drugs. Kristen is reluctant at first, but gives in and becomes quite addicted. Jim is already an experienced user but keeps on using past the saftey limits. Kristen and Jim only have each other and become lovers of some sort. Meanwhile, their net gets wider, but they can't find a way to catch the top guy. So, they plant evidence and try to deal with the results.
Jason Patric is "intense" as an actor. I guess that means he always seems to be acting. This is not quite Master Thespian, but his dip into drug addiction doesn't seem that interesting because he always seems to be playing the role. Jennifer Jason Leigh starts off slow in this movie. Her character is poorly defined, but by mid stream, she carries the movie. She does a good job of playing the desparate and wrenched user/lover.
This movie is directed by someone related to the producer. I'm not familiar with the name. The movie opens up very smartly. It follows the king pin around his (Greg Allman) roadhouse and bar. It is one continuous shot. It reminds me of the much hyped single shot by DePalma. Unfortunately, the vision slips from this early high point and the movie lacks a distinct vision.
Greg Allman plays the king pin and barely has 30 words in the entire movie. Instead, he's a strong, curious, and mostly silent presence that really do showcase some acting talent.
This is an odd movie to watch now. This movie (made in 1991) takes place in 1975ish. Instead of being easily transported back in time, I was so familiar with the fashions that I thought it was contemporary. About a third or half of the way through the movie, I realized the disco scene was supposed to be actually in the 1970s.
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