Striking Distance

Directed by Rowdy Herrington. Starring Bruce Willis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dennis Farina, Tom Sizemore, Robert Pastorelli, Timothy Busfield. (1993)

REVIEWED By Louis Black, Fri., Sept. 24, 1993

Patrolman Tom Hardy (Willis), from a Pittsburgh cop family, has testified against his partner and cousin (Pastorelli), helping to send him to jail. The same weekend, his father is killed driving with Hardy in the pursuit of a serial killer. Soon after, his cousin commits suicide. Publicly challenging the police department over the identity of the serial killer -- they have found a suspect who he insists is innocent -- Hardy is certain the murderer is a cop. Busted to river patrol, Hardy's life is used up, tangled up in guilt over the deaths of his father and cousin. Two years later, the serial killer returns, murdering women from Hardy's past, a fact Hardy mentions to neither police nor ex-lovers. Willis has a charismatic screen presence, at least in the Die Hard movies, but that's not enough. He never gets a handle on this character, offering up a series of scenes rather than one coherent performance. Striking Distance is like a faded carbon copy of an action movie, there may have been ideas here once but they were too many generations ago to remember. The killer's brutality towards women is so casually treated by the film as to be offensive. This is pop pornography, sex and violence without meaning. If you can't figure out the way Striking Distance is going in the first few minutes, it just means you've already fallen asleep.

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