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Enjoyable film but tries to squeeze too much in artificially
Out on the campaign trail for Mayor, Giardello gets shot twice and taken to hospital. His shooting could be enemies from his previous post or could be drug related as he pledged to legalise drugs to take it off the streets. The shooting brings the homicide detectives out in force both present and past to try and piece together the clues and find out who it was and why.
Thanks to the UK's Channel 4's policy of not knowing a good thing when they've bought the rights to it, I have not seen the last series of H:LOTS, simply because they decided that it wasn't getting enough viewers and dropped it. So I don't know how directly this follows on from the TV series in terms of time but I know that it does tie in quite well and close some open questions. The plot is quite simple and lacks the class of the tv series but still works well for what it has to do. Some of the plot is a jump too far but it still works on the whole. The side issues are as interesting as the main plot and the close of the film is actually a lot more moving than I expected it to be.
The main problem the film has is that `every detective is back'. The result of this is that fans get to see characters they haven't seen for years, but the downside is that they are mostly just clutter wheeled in to say a few lines and then disappear. The film is at it's strongest when it focuses on good subplots with the strongest characters hence it is at it's best when Pembleton and Bayliss are the focus. It is still good to see all the faces but at times you wonder why they bothered and why they didn't sacrifice some characters to make for a tighter narrative.
The cast all do well, with Braugher and Secor standing out due to the amount of time and material the film allows them to have. The cameos (although a lot of the cast could be called cameos) are mixed. Priestley and Begley Jnr are a bit of a waste of space but Oz's Walker gives a delicate performance and shows his skill in this media yet again.
Overall I had no great hopes for this film as it is basically a TVM, but I did enjoy it more than I thought. The revolving door of old characters does drag a little at times but the film works and the focus on a group of main characters (Pembleton and Bayliss in particular) works to it's strength and produces a film that, while not comparable to the series in terms of quality, will satisfy many of it's fans.
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