Jack of Hearts (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
|This movie is basically the same quality of 90
minutes of broadcast TV or basic cable. It is directed with a
no-frills, workmanlike narrative, and can be likened to an episode of
Vega$ with an extra sex scene.
It stars Luis Mandylor, who is making a serious run at Eric Roberts for the rule of the hyphen kingdom (made-for- and straight-to-). According to IMDb, Mandylor is an Aussie of Greek heritage who is an expert at a form of Thai martial arts called "muy thai", which presumably means "very Thai-like". For you literal-minded, I don't really know what it means.
|If he's an Aussie, he has the whole American thing down perfectly, but he surely didn't get a chance to show any fighting skills here. I think he lost every fight he was in, almost drowning after a baddie threw him in a swimming pool.||
|The premise is that
Mandylor is a
cop who's been blackballed by every police department in America
because he ratted out most of his Florida department to internal
affairs. The police chief in Vegas is desperate for good detectives,
however, because the city is growing too fast for the force to keep
pace, so he gives Mandylor a trial appointment.
Of course, many things in Vegas involve tacit understandings between the cops and certain powerful men, and the unsubtle Mandylor is a bull in a China shop, so he's fired within 24 hours. As he packs his bags, he's hired by the Nevada Gambling Commission to be their personal investigator, because they don't trust the cops.
The complete lack of logic in the script is best shown by this scene:
Mandylor comes to his new apartment building to move in. We know he's never been there before, because he doesn't know where to find his own apartment. He gets directions from a girl at the pool, who asks him to bring back a beer. He goes to his apartment. We see him reach in the refrigerator. Then we see him back at the pool, sharing a cold beer with the girl.
From this we can assume: (1) that he rented a furnished apartment, and that the furnishings included a refrigerator full of beer (2) that the girl at the pool knew he would have a refrigerator full of beer, even though he had never been in the apartment before. That's just one example. The film is filled with similar puzzlers.
The story continues to an unlikely ending, the only real highlight of which was a fistfight atop Hoover Dam, in which Mandylor threw his opponent over the edge. That was some very effective stunt and body-dummy work, because they showed the body tumbling all the way down the face of the dam.
Trivia: Within a recent fifteen year period, IMDb lists five different projects with this same title.
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