Crossfire Review

It’s time for a big mystery film where the dots have to be connected before time runs out. Classic noir mysteries like this always tend to be quite solid and this one is no exception. There are quite a few guys running around and a lot of names to keep straight but you’ll probably have a good idea on who the culprit is early on. I wouldn’t say that the film is trying to hide this from the audience for very long, it’s more of a mystery for the characters within the film as they only have bits and pieces of the story.

The movie starts with someone beating an elderly Jewish man to death. We don’t know who this is but there are a few soldiers who are suspects. Basically this platoon is in between missions right now and a few of them had been hanging out with this guy for most of the night. There was apparently some kind of argument so this may have led to things being rough. The reason why it’s noted that this man was Jewish is also because the murder may have been a hate crime based on this. The cops are treating this very seriously and Mitch is the primary suspect but his friend Keeley doesn’t think this is likely so it’s time to investigate the crime personally. The tough part will be that he may find out some answers he didn’t want to know.

This is one of those films where a huge part of it could have been avoided if Mitch didn’t get drunk. Part of the issue here is that he was drinking a whole lot along with the rest of the characters so his memory is spotty at best. There are large parts of the day that he just doesn’t remember at all and this really costs him big time. Instead of being able to give definitive answers he always sounds nervous and hesitant about everything so that doesn’t help to clear his name at all. Most of his “friends” end up making Mitch sound more and more guilty.

Additionally I have to say that I just didn’t like Mitch. He’s married but still followed another lady up to her apartment and it’s fortunate that she had to leave for most of the night because it seemed like he was really close to making a mistake that you can’t come back from. At the very least I think it’s already a mistake to put yourself in a tricky position like that. It just so happened that this would make him look more suspicious as well but that’s more of a side effect.

The best character here is definitely Keeley. While he may not co-operate with the police captain Finlay too much, Keeley is trying his best to solve this and make sure everyone is okay. He just doesn’t know who to trust at first and so he keeps everyone at arm’s length. He’s got a sharp wit and a lot of good comebacks. Keeley knows how to push the envelope as far as it will go without crossing a line and that’s always important. He puts in a whole lot of work and once he is on the same page as Finlay they are able to cover a lot of ground.

Meanwhile Finlay does a really good job as well. He isn’t able to cover quite as much ground as Keeley for a while there and you could say that it’s partially on him that they didn’t work together a lot sooner but from Finlay’s perspective Keeley was still a suspect as well so his hands were tied. He was reasonable all the way through and made for a solid character here. Then you have Monty who is one of the main guys here. He is always very eager to talk to the cops and try to set things straight but every time he talks he seems to put Mitch in a tough spot….

He definitely makes for an intense character and you aren’t likely to forget Monty as you finish the film. Monty is definitely not a likable character and of course he’s not meant to be. The film does a good job of still making him strategic so there are a lot of mind games going on here and battles of wits. You actually don’t get many seems of him and Keeley in the same room which keeps the plots separate for a while. Floyd is unfortunately very weak willed and of the soldiers he is the easiest one to manipulate for sure. A lot of the time they say if you don’t make any decision then that was automatically the wrong one and that’s what happens for this guy a lot. The window to act gets smaller and smaller until it’s too late.

The oddest character in the film was Ginny’s husband Tremaine. It’s hard to get a read on him since he is constantly lying. After each of his speeches he will say that everything he just said was a lie and this keeps on repeating. He seems chronically depressed and yet he is trying to poke fun at his own expense. Mainly I just wondered what the point of this character was aside from adding some unintentional humor into the film. I was a bit interested in whatever his story was. The guy has clearly been through a whole lot over the years. At least he tried to be helpful unlike Ginny who was determined to stay quiet and not be involved in everything going on.

Mitch’s wife Mary shows up as well to try and help get to the bottom of this. Her role isn’t very large but it’s a fairly pivotal one. She helps Mitch to really get a better understanding of the stakes and that he needs to step up or she’ll be in trouble as well. There are certainly a lot of moving parts here and the film’s got fast pacing so it all works out. The mystery is sound and the writing is good. I can’t say that I had any real issues with the movie and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good thriller.

Overall, Crossfire may not be a title that you would immediately associate with this film but it works well enough. There isn’t a lot of gun action here as this is more of a mental battle of wills but you can bet that there is a little intensity as we get closer to the end. There are some very smart tricks used here to corner the villain. A satisfying ending is absolutely necessary for a title like this and it all wraps up nicely.

Overall 7/10

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