Brazilian director Bruno Barreto helmed this Jeremy Iacone screenplay "inspired by" New York detective Bo Dietl's 1988 autobiography, One Tough Cop: The Bo Dietl Story. However, the credits display this line: "Except for the character of Bo Dietl, all characters and situations portrayed in this film are fictional." During a routine drug bust, Bo Dietl (Stephen Baldwin) and his short-fused partner Duke (Chris Penn) encounter a hostage situation when Popi (Luis Guzman) kills his unfaithful wife. Bo gets Popi to release his young daughter, but the man kills himself. Bo's lifelong buddy Richie La Cassa (Mike McGlone), owner of the plush La Cassa club, didn't let marriage keep him away from attractive Joey O'Hara (Gina Gershon) -- an affair brought to a close by Joey. After she takes an interest in Bo, the atmosphere heats up considerably, causing a rift with Richie. In a sequence based on a 1981 incident, a nun is raped and mutilated at a Harlem convent school. Bo and Duke are not part of the investigation, which leads to trouble when they begin to get an inside track on the case. Their mob contacts attract the attention of two FBI agents (Amy Irving and Victor Slezak), who put pressure on Bo and Duke as part of a federal investigation. When Duke's debts to crime bosses become a problem, Bo steps in, creating yet more friction with his old pal Richie. Filmed in New York and Toronto, this film was shown at the 1998 Mill Valley Film Festival. The real-life Bo Dietl occasionally turns up as a guest on The Howard Stern Show.
by Bhob Stewart synopsis