Caught in the Crossfire (Blu-Ray)
At first glance, CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE looks like a cheap, poorly conceived straight to video thriller full of drugs, gangs, corrupt cops and bad acting. Not surprisingly, that is exactly what this is. I don’t have a “but” or “however” to add to my original pre-conceived assessment. No disguising it, this Blu-ray fits the cover.
The film opens with two homicide detectives, Briggs (Chris Klein) and Shepherd (Adam Rodriguez), on their way as back up to a gang related shooting. In their custody is Tino (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson), a reluctant gang informant. Briggs (suspiciously similar to Riggs from LETHAL WEAPON), providing as much exposition as possible, delivers all this information loudly. As soon as they reach their destination director Brian A. Miller chooses to use a Michael Mann hand held style of camera work. He stays in tight on the action with an overly shaky feel. This is very distracting and actually reveals how close in proximity the action was taking place when I believe it was intended to appear more distant. Well nearly everyone is gunned down as our two detectives are caught in the crossfire…thus the title. The rest of the film is shown in flashbacks as the two partners tell their side of the entire investigation inside an interrogation room slowly unraveling the corruption within the department. Why aren’t the cops that did all the killings during the crossfire being questioned? I never did figure out why they were the one’s in trouble.
The acting by Rodriguez and Cent…errr…Fity…how about Half Dollar? Anyway their acting was adequate I guess. Seriously, Curtis “$.50” Jackson, who was also an executive producer, did alright I guess, so I have to give him some credit. But he definitely should keep to material he knows. For the most part, everyone overacted some, but they were all overshadowed by Mr. Chris Klein. What happened to that guy from ELECTION or even AMERICAN PIE? Klein is absolutely terrible in this picture. He has a charisma that makes him interesting to watch but his acting is atrocious. He yells every single line enunciating so clearly it’s as if he is showing off his memorizing skills. He held one angry note through his entire performance. In the interrogation room he used big gestures pouring out all his emotional actions and movement that an Acting 101 class would consider overacting. Maybe he should stick to intentional comedies.
To be fair, I see some potential in writer/director Brian A. Miller. Sure this was bad but he is a young novice at this and I think with better actors and a little more care he could have faked this poor script into an OK script. I found myself caught up in the drama every now and again but then my brain kicked in and recognized all the senseless plot holes. My advice is have someone look over your material, put in a few rewrites, fix any area that may seem questionable. Otherwise you need to get a production and style of Michael Bay proportion that the audience forgets your faults and mindlessly enjoys themselves.
Video: (Widescreen 1.78:1) The picture quality was a bit poor. Some of the scenes were too dark and certain edits were grainier not matching other shots within the same scene
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD) Lots of gunshots and yelling heard just fine.
Outtakes (10:33): I am shocked at how long this went on with absolutely zero funny outtakes.
Original Trailer and Trailer Gallery for Fox Searchlight Films