Q & A

Starring: Nick Nolte, Timothy Hutton & Armand Assante
20th Century Fox
RRP: £15.99

Certificate: 18
Available now

A police detective lures a man out the rear door of a nightclub and shoots him dead. He places a gun in the dead man's hand, before threatening a couple of lowlifes into backing his story. Al Reilly is a young lawyer whose first job for the D.A.'s office is to tie-up this "cut and dried" case of self-defence. Nobody expects him to dig deep; what he discovers is a conceited and thoroughly crooked but respected cop. In fact, it seems that almost everyone around him is a bigot on the political trail. It's difficult to know who to trust. And just to throw an additional spanner in the works, the wife of a gangland boss witness is Reilly's old flame..

Q&A is another example of an individual going up against the establishment. However, in this case it's a little more realistic, in that there's no good guy as such, and all the characters are various shades of grey. Nothing exactly goes according to plan either. There are plenty of disasters, and no happy outcome. In this manner, it's a little reminiscent of The X-Files: no aliens (only illegal ones) but plenty of internal cover-ups.

Nick Nolte copes well with a pretty run-of-the-mill script. His character manipulates everyone around him, amidst a city den of iniquity. Everywhere you look there's transvestites, racists, crooks and blasphemers, and it's obvious the setting is intended to spawn the hard-hitting bent cop, who sees himself as the untouchable judge, jury and executioner.

Although Q&A is set in America, and it's a world apart from the Britain of today, this film doesn't inspire confidence in law and order. There's no doubt that corruption does occasionally take place; however, our friends from across the pond do tend to be moderately obsessed with conspiracies. The fact that we've witnessed so many of these "plots", in effect belittles the overall impact of the film. And one more thing: modern day fictional gangsters/hoodlums leave me cold.

This is a movie you could comfortably sit down and watch on TV one evening, if you've got nothing more productive to do, but it's nothing special, and certainly won't stand repeated viewings. With no extras, it's another poor release. Rent, don't buy.

Ty Power

Buy this item online
We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal!
(Please note all prices exclude P&P - although Streets Online charge a flat £1 fee regardless of the number of items ordered). Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£14.39 (Amazon.co.uk)
£15.99 (Blackstar.co.uk)

All prices correct at time of going to press.