One Good Cop
1991 Directed by Heywood Gould. Starring Michael Keaton, Rene Russo.
REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., May 10, 1991
For such a talented actor, Keaton ends up in too many mediocre movies. From The Squeeze to Pacific Heights, he seems to come out with a clunker every other year or so, and though he's not yet in any danger of approaching Burt Reynolds' Track Record From Hell, you can't help but squirm every time you see a new Keaton thriller. One Good Cop is yet another failed effort, and Keaton knows it: asked to describe the film on MTV's The Big Picture the other day, he mumbled “...it's got its heart in the right place.” Ouch. Directed by newcomer Gould, the film starts out with a workable, semi-original premise and quickly lapses into cinematic schizophrenia as unnecessary subplots and plot complications are thrown in seemingly at random. Keaton plays NYPD detective Artie Lewis. He's honest, loving, and tough enough to fight his way out of darkened elevator ambushes. When his widowed partner Stevie (Anthony LaPalia) is killed trying to rescue the wife of an ice-crazed lowlife, Lewis suddenly finds himself legal guardian of the dead man's three young daughters. Mr. Mom all over again? Well, not really. Lewis's wife Rita (Russo) is infertile, and until now had resigned herself to life sans rug rats. Suddenly and without warning, she finds herself playing nanny/new mom figure to the dead cop's kids, and guess what? A new family is born! (Like you didn't see that one coming a mile away.) Meanwhile, Colombian ice moguls and the new family's ever present lack of cash are driving Keaton's character to desperation and threatening to upset the whole joyous situation. It would have been enough to focus the plot on Keaton's new-found family, but director Gould seems to think that audiences won't go for a cop movie lacking excessive death and cruelty. I hate to say it, but he may be right.