This lushly photographed, contemporary film noir tries to substitute looks and unconvincing, contrived plot twists for substance, capturing the look of a film noir but lacking the depth and characterization needed to make the film work. After his father, Mike is killed, Joe Donan (Michael Biehn) finds evidence that his Uncle Lou (James Coburn) in a dual role as Mike and Lou, might have stolen money from his father. Joe hooks up with Lou and his drug-taking lackey, Eddie (Nicolas Cage). Joe also falls for Eddie's beautiful, but devious girlfriend Diane (Sarah Trigger). Joe kills Eddie and gains Lou's confidence, joining him in a diamond swindle. As the unnecessarily complicated plot concludes, Joe learns the shocking truth that he himself has been the victim of a scam. Michael Biehn while a good-looking and competent actor, fails to find the depth necessary to bring his outwardly sophisticated but surprisingly naive character to life. Sarah Trigger is too shallow to make a convincing noir femme-fatale, and her obvious deviousness would fool only the most gullible. Nicolas Cage, in a totally over-the-top performance also fails to give his character any believability or depth. Director Christopher Coppola takes a potentially interesting premise and muddles it with too many plot twists and unconvincing performances.
by Linda Rasmussen synopsis