When Justice Fails (Review)

I find it interesting that a lot of Canadian produced films have something to do with the law. I also find it interesting that law-based movies are bad in plot with basic characters.

Anyways, our story stars Crooked Cop and Loathsome Loner Detective Tom Chaney (Jeff Fahey). Capt. Tanner (Chuck Shamata) doesn’t approve of Chaney or his methods in crime busting and gives him a new partner, Rod Lambeau (Carl Marotte) who is more responsible and a snazzier dresser.

As Chaney shows Lambeau his new desk, Lambeau tells Chaney he’s gay and he expects to be treated with respect. Chaney accepts Lambeau as a friend, and the two go solve a homicide together.

It’s revealed that the victim was a sex offender and the buddy cops spot clues that lead them to another sex offender, William Boxler (Gregory Calpakis). Upon arriving in court, the Chief tells them they have the best attorney in the city for this case, Katy Wesson (Marlee Matlin) who happens to be deaf but does so well at lip reading. The case fails though and the two detectives go further on their investigation while Wesson tries to get a retrial, but it doesn’t work out.

When Boxler is the next to get murdered, they find the same evidence as before, a pair of scissors and some hair strands. While Lambeau and Chaney play some one-on-one basketball together, they randomly come to the conclusion that Wesson is actually the murderer, seeing as she lost both cases against the rapists. However, differing opinions between the two cause conflict over whether or not Wesson is the murderer. Chaney won’t believe it but Lambeau is sure it is true.

The rest of the film is banter and conflict and not much story. While the authorities (except for maybe Chaney) are unable to solve the mystery, anyone watching this can figure out the whole murder way too soon. You’re probably guessing it right now for all I know. The hints and clues weren’t very subtle, the characters were too generic and overdone, and at first glance nobody can entirely believe all characteristics. Matlin did a pretty good job at hers though.

But the film isn’t entirely bad. I mean, the actors are pretty good in this with their performances and despite the ridiculous plot, there are some good elements of film noir. However, it all pans out to something not exactly worth watching. Unless you’re really really bored and feel like scoping out everything wrong with the plot.

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