“Give the policewoman a big hand!”
Cop Francis Jane (Palmer) is assigned to guard jewel thief Eddie Cordero (Robbins), who was shot while being captured, and is now cuffed to his bed in an all but deserted wing of a local hospital. What should be a tedious task turns out to be far from it, as his former colleagues, led by crew leader Louis Holland (MacDonald) show up. They are eager both to discover the location of the stolen goods, and extract revenge for the death of one member, which they blame on Cordero, but which he swears was the act of a corrupt cop. The resulting assault leads to an uneasy alliance between policewoman and criminal, as they try to avoid his former colleagues. But is Cordero as easy-going and affable as he seems? Or does he have a hidden agenda of his own?
The film was basically the result of the producer having access to a deserted hospital, and getting a script written to fit the location. That’s not necessarily a bad idea, but it’s just one aspect of a storyline that requires too much suspension of disbelief. Another is the inordinate number of occasions one character or another is knocked unconscious by someone else, for exactly the amount of time necessary to the plot. Or, perhaps most obviously of all (at the risk of a spoiler), getting your hand sawn off by an untrained civilian not only does not lead to major blood loss, here, it’s the kind of injury you pretty much shake off, and which is little more than a minor inconvenience the rest of the way. Now, I guess there’s some precedent (127 Hours showed dismemberment can be non-lethal), but combined with the other issues, it’s a combo-breaker fatality as far as this story is concerned.
The characters deserve better. There’s a nice dynamic between Jane and Cordero, the latter frequently needling the cop that they’re not so different, and MacDonald makes for a fine villain, capable of conveying threat with a look or a few words. Lapeyre is obviously going for Reservoir Dogs, with a story that’s less about a crime and more about back-stabbing treachery in its aftermath, building to a confrontation in an operating theatre, with one participant strapped to the table, about to undergo the film’s second bout of impromptu surgery. But it never captures anything like the same sense of grit, playing more like a nasty, bloody cartoon. About all it’s missing is a few falling anvils and a pair of Acme rocket-powered roller-skates.
Dir: Jason Lapeyre
Star: Zoie Palmer, Ryan Robbins, William MacDonald, Sergio Di Zio