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Posts Tagged ‘“Small Town Crime’

Robert Forster, John Hawkes

“SMALL TOWN CRIME”  My rating: C+ 

91 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Ex-cop Mike Kendall is a “shit heel” according to one of the other characters in “Small Town Crime.” It’s hard to disagree with that assessment.

Mike is an alcoholic who’s usually wasted by noon. He drives his souped-up car like an irresponsible teen; one morning he awakens to find his ride parked in the front yard amongst the wreckage of a picket fence.

Mike has been jobless since the unfortunate incident that led to the death of a fellow patrolman. To keep getting unemployment benefits he goes through the motions of applying for jobs, but should a prospective employer actually show an interest, Mike scotches the deal by confessing to being a hopeless drunk.

The good news is that Mike, as played by the great John Hawkes, isn’t a mean drunk. He loved being a cop and has a hopeless dream of once again wearing a badge. And despite his maddeningly childlike behavior, he’s just charming enough that you can’t hate him.

This noir drama from siblings Echo and Ian Nelms finds Mike thrust back into the game when he discovers a young woman dying in a roadside ditch. His cop instincts kick in, and despite warnings from his old colleagues on the force, Mike starts poking around into her death.

Posing as a private detective, he contacts the girl’s rich grandfather (Robert Forster), who is infuriated by the cops’ sloppy handling of the case (“To them she’s just another toe tag”). Despite his granddaughter’s self-destructive history of drug addiction and prostitution, he’s ready to spend big bucks to find out how and why she died.

Mike’s dogged digging eventually reveals a murderous conspiracy.  Before it’s over, other young prostitutes are being murdered and Mike is himself a target.  Not to mention his “sister” (Octavia Spencer), with whom he grew up in foster care, and her husband (Anthony Anderson) and their kids.

 

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