The January Man

Kevin Kline as an unorthodox but indispensable detective tracking a serial strangler infuses this improbable Gotham-set romantic policier with personality.

With:
Kevin Kline Susan Sarandon Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Harvey Keitel Danny Aiello Rod Steiger

Kevin Kline as an unorthodox but indispensable detective tracking a serial strangler infuses this improbable Gotham-set romantic policier with personality.

Kline is Nick Starkey, a disgraced cop who can’t get along with the establishment but is summoned from exile to crack an unsolvable crime. Kline has been hung out to dry on dubious allegations of graft by his mean-spirited brother, Police Commissioner Frank Starkey (Harvey Keitel), and brutish Mayor Eamon Flynn (Rod Steiger).

Apparently he’s also the only investigative genius in the entire NYPD, which Kline agrees to rejoin if he’s allowed to cook dinner for Keitel’s haughty, social climbing wife Christine (Susan Sarandon). Kline also strikes sexual sparks with the mayor’s daughter Bernadette (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) whose friend was murdered by the break-and-enter strangler.

There ‘s a false ending that does little to make up for the picture’s dearth of dry-throat suspense. Steiger has some volcanic moments in this comeback turn, while the other supporting actors provide serviceable foils for Kline’s quirky cop.

New York is so bereft of grit and character that it could be Toronto – which it often is, with the exception of the Times Square opening and pick-up shots.

The January Man

Production: M-G-M. Director Pat O'Connor; Producer Norman Jewison, Ezra Swerdlow; Screenplay John Patrick Shanley; Camera Jerzy Zielinski; Editor Lou Lombardo; Music Marvin Hamlisch; Art Director Philip Rosenberg

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1989. Running time: 97 MIN.

With: Kevin Kline Susan Sarandon Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Harvey Keitel Danny Aiello Rod Steiger

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