the fresh films reviews

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Internal Affairs (1990)

Mike Figgis



Internt oppgjør

115 minutes

Frank Mancuso Jr.

Henry Bean

Cast includes:

Dennis Peck Richard Gere
Raymond Avilla Andy Garcia
Kathleen Avilla Nancy Travis
Amy Wallace Laurie Metcalf
Van Stretch William Baldwin ½
Steven Arrocas John Kapelos -
Rudy Mohr Xander Berkeley -
Chief Healy John Capodice -
Sean Elijah Wood -
Hollander Mike Figgis -



Richard Gere obviously enjoyed himself playing the despicable rotten cop Dennis Peck, who keeps his friends close but his enemies closer. He's planting evidence, sleeping with snitching hookers and manipulating his partners, always with a smirk on his face. Gere's performance is clearly over-the-top, as it needed to be, but not to the point that he's capsizing this atmospheric and at times alluring police thriller. That is something director Mike Figgis ultimately manages almost by himself, thanks to his perpetual, mystifying shifts between stark realism and slow-mo caricature, which towards the end of this film are so frequent and unaccounted for that any hope of reeling it in on the right side of ridicule is long gone. Fans of the genre and time-period in question may still be able to get some enjoyment out of it all. There are enough good elements here for a well-functioning movie. Perhaps it even could have been edited into one, something cutter Robert Estrin doesn't succeed in. There's a seductive score from Brian Banks, Anthony Marinelli and Figgis himself, and there's a particularly good performance from Laurie Metcalf as Andy Garcia's partner. Garcia, on the other hand, is too fidgety as the IAD sergeant who comes down on Gere. The point the film tries to make about Garcia and Gere being two sides of the same coin desperately lacks subtlety. Look for little Elijah Wood in a one-scene performance as William Baldwin's son. It was his second feature film.

Re-reviewed: Copyright © 07.06.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright © 16.10.1996 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang