Friday, November 16, 2012

"Deadly Justice" with Richard Crenna (1985)

You never can tell what you will find in the $1.99 bin. Most of the stuff isn’t worth the time to watch, but when you find a film starring Richard Crenna it’s a good bet that it will be worthwhile. In this film from 1985, he plays the very cynical and jaded Police Detective Richard Beck. When confronted with the new Rape Crisis Officer, played by Meredith Baxter Birney, he is slightly annoyed. He is one of those officers who believe most rape victims got “what they deserved.” That is, until he himself is raped by 2 vicious criminals one night while conducting his own “night patrol”.

What follows is almost poetic justice, as he is navigated through the same cynical system of which he has been a part for his entire career. Seeing the pain and destruction of lives his apathetic attitude has caused, he embarks on a personal vendetta to bring the two criminals to justice, while at the same time recovering his self-esteem.
The most important thing about this film is that it took on the issue of male rape almost 30 years ago, way before “Law and Order: SUV”. Outstanding script and direction, with intense performances by both Richard Crenna and Meredith Baxter Birney make this film a keeper.

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