Internal Affairs (1990)

Genres - Crime, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Police Drama, Crime Thriller  |   Release Date - Jan 12, 1990 (USA)  |   Run Time - 114 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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An air of poisoned, kinky sex hangs over almost every frame of Internal Affairs and makes it an interesting neo-noir with a slyly apt title, for what's more "internal" than one's sexual affairs? The best of the early, great noirs have an overripe tone and a heated subtext that suggest things at least as interesting as what's made explicit. So does Internal Affairs: Director Mike Figgis, screenwriter Henry Bean, and cinematographer John A. Alonzo load the film with a creepy sexual undertone that pools around the police procedural staples of the plot. Raymond (Andy Garcia) is an Internal Affairs investigator who would rather be mercilessly pursuing corruption along the dark, deserted L.A. streets with his lesbian partner (Laurie Metcalf) than home with his lovely but demure wife (Nancy Travis). Officer Dennis Peck (Richard Gere) uses sex and the sleaze he finds on the job as a bludgeon to seduce women and emasculate men. He uses an accidental shooting to corrupt one fellow cop (Michael Beach) and drugs, money, and an affair with his wife to subvert another (William Baldwin). It's one of Gere's most seamless and convincing performances: You can see from the sadistic gleam in his eye that he's really enjoying himself, and if the suffused sex in the movie doesn't throw you off, you'll enjoy it, too.