It’s Showtime Devlin

Despite Bryan Brown's rugged, authoritative presence, "Devlin" plays like a bloody, twice-told tale. The turf's overly trod and the characters, despite new names, new faces and superior acting and direction, are overworked.

With:
Cast: Bryan Brown, Roma Downey, Lloyd Bridges, Whip Hubley, Lawrence Dane, Lisa Eichhorn, Carole Shelley, Jan Rubes, Frances Fisher, Gary Klar, Bruce MacVittie, Robert Clohessy, Robert Ciccini, Perry Jobe, Peter Radon, Eduardo Gomez, Michael Currie, Stuart Clow, Susan Davy, Gabrielle Rose, Julie Power, Mark Melymick, Kathy Kinsman, Carlton Watson, Heidi Hatashita, Sandi Stahlbrand, Edgar George, John Curtis, Desmond Campbell, Mei Chan, George Robertson, George Sperdakos, Michael Caruana, Philip Akin, Thick Wilson, Len Doncheff, Rick Parker , Howard Jerome, Deborah Lubban, Jacqueline Blais, John Stoneham Jr., Roy Anderson, Caroline Tweedle, Larry McLean, John Stoneham Sr., Steve Lucescu, Robert McKenna.

Despite Bryan Brown’s rugged, authoritative presence, “Devlin” plays like a bloody, twice-told tale. The turf’s overly trod and the characters, despite new names, new faces and superior acting and direction, are overworked.

Brown plays N.Y. cop Devlin, once married to the daughter of big-time operator Bill Brennan (Lloyd Bridges). Brennan’s son is knocked off while running for mayor and Devlin finds himself up to his eyeballs in the assassination; puzzle involves who hired the assassin and why.

David Taylor’s intricate screenplay, with its familiar plotting and solution, focuses on Devlin slowly realizing he’s been set up by whoever hired the killer — who’s murdered by a man who’s also murdered.

Tough Devlin starts following a trail that involves his former father-in-law, Brennan, who hates him; a Jersey Mafia operator, Di Fabrizi (Peter Radon); Devlin’s boss, Chief Wolfe (Lawrence Dane); his partner; his ex-wife; and his current Irish girlfriend Eileen (Roma Downey).

Based on the book by Roderick Thorp, the convoluted plot looks and plays like deja vu as bodies fall into place to point toward the motive and the power behind the deaths; the denouement reveals little that’s jolting.

Director Rick Rosenthal establishes a vigorous, bruising atmosphere that Brown’s Frank Devlin sustains from the kickoff.

Brown’s a rugged, convincing cop and makes Devlin’s persistence believable. Downey’s charming Eileen is a winner and Bridges as the intolerant, unforgiving Brennan is terrif.

Radon’s vicious godfather convinces and Frances Fisher gives a strong perf as Devlin’s foul-mouthed, disturbed former wife.

Neil Roach’s realistic camerawork is admirable and Tony Gibbs’s splendid editing sets a fast pace. Barbara Dunphy’s imaginative production design in New York and Toronto (subbing for N.Y. and New Jersey) creates persuasive setups ranging from murky rendezvous points to elegant sitting rooms.

The only real surprises come when Devlin handles hoods in a grisly, waste-no-time fashion; as urgent a TV movie as this needs more surprises than that.

It's Showtime Devlin

(Sat. (12), 9-10:40 p.m., Showtime)

Production: Filmed in New York and Toronto by Viacom Pictures. Exec producer, Michael Rauch; producers, Paulo De Oliveira, Craig Roessler; director, Rick Rosenthal; writer, David Taylor; based on book by Roderick Thorp.

Crew: Camera, Neil Roach; editor, Tony Gibbs; sound, Brian Day; music, John Altman; production designer, Barbara Dunphy.

Cast: Cast: Bryan Brown, Roma Downey, Lloyd Bridges, Whip Hubley, Lawrence Dane, Lisa Eichhorn, Carole Shelley, Jan Rubes, Frances Fisher, Gary Klar, Bruce MacVittie, Robert Clohessy, Robert Ciccini, Perry Jobe, Peter Radon, Eduardo Gomez, Michael Currie, Stuart Clow, Susan Davy, Gabrielle Rose, Julie Power, Mark Melymick, Kathy Kinsman, Carlton Watson, Heidi Hatashita, Sandi Stahlbrand, Edgar George, John Curtis, Desmond Campbell, Mei Chan, George Robertson, George Sperdakos, Michael Caruana, Philip Akin, Thick Wilson, Len Doncheff, Rick Parker , Howard Jerome, Deborah Lubban, Jacqueline Blais, John Stoneham Jr., Roy Anderson, Caroline Tweedle, Larry McLean, John Stoneham Sr., Steve Lucescu, Robert McKenna.

More TV

  • Emmy Awards Placeholder

    TV Academy Announces Rule Changes for 2018 Emmy Awards

    Despite Bryan Brown’s rugged, authoritative presence, “Devlin” plays like a bloody, twice-told tale. The turf’s overly trod and the characters, despite new names, new faces and superior acting and direction, are overworked. Brown plays N.Y. cop Devlin, once married to the daughter of big-time operator Bill Brennan (Lloyd Bridges). Brennan’s son is knocked off while […]

  • Marvel's The Punisher Renewed for Season

    'Marvel's The Punisher' Renewed for Season 2

    Despite Bryan Brown’s rugged, authoritative presence, “Devlin” plays like a bloody, twice-told tale. The turf’s overly trod and the characters, despite new names, new faces and superior acting and direction, are overworked. Brown plays N.Y. cop Devlin, once married to the daughter of big-time operator Bill Brennan (Lloyd Bridges). Brennan’s son is knocked off while […]

  • Sonia Saraiya's Top 25 Shows of

    Sonia Saraiya's 25 Best TV Shows of 2017

    Despite Bryan Brown’s rugged, authoritative presence, “Devlin” plays like a bloody, twice-told tale. The turf’s overly trod and the characters, despite new names, new faces and superior acting and direction, are overworked. Brown plays N.Y. cop Devlin, once married to the daughter of big-time operator Bill Brennan (Lloyd Bridges). Brennan’s son is knocked off while […]

  • Nick Stoller

    Nick Stoller Inks Multi-Year Overall Deal With Sony Pictures Television

    Despite Bryan Brown’s rugged, authoritative presence, “Devlin” plays like a bloody, twice-told tale. The turf’s overly trod and the characters, despite new names, new faces and superior acting and direction, are overworked. Brown plays N.Y. cop Devlin, once married to the daughter of big-time operator Bill Brennan (Lloyd Bridges). Brennan’s son is knocked off while […]

  • Netflix, Dreamworks Partner 'Trolls,' 'Boss Baby'

    Netflix, Dreamworks Partner for Six Animated Shows in 2018, Including 'Trolls,' 'Boss Baby' Series

    Despite Bryan Brown’s rugged, authoritative presence, “Devlin” plays like a bloody, twice-told tale. The turf’s overly trod and the characters, despite new names, new faces and superior acting and direction, are overworked. Brown plays N.Y. cop Devlin, once married to the daughter of big-time operator Bill Brennan (Lloyd Bridges). Brennan’s son is knocked off while […]

  • CW - EA MADDEN NFL 18

    CW, EA Team on 'Madden NFL 18' eSports 'Survivor'-Style Special for TV

    Despite Bryan Brown’s rugged, authoritative presence, “Devlin” plays like a bloody, twice-told tale. The turf’s overly trod and the characters, despite new names, new faces and superior acting and direction, are overworked. Brown plays N.Y. cop Devlin, once married to the daughter of big-time operator Bill Brennan (Lloyd Bridges). Brennan’s son is knocked off while […]

  • Facebook - tv academy emmys 2017

    70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Date Announced

    Despite Bryan Brown’s rugged, authoritative presence, “Devlin” plays like a bloody, twice-told tale. The turf’s overly trod and the characters, despite new names, new faces and superior acting and direction, are overworked. Brown plays N.Y. cop Devlin, once married to the daughter of big-time operator Bill Brennan (Lloyd Bridges). Brennan’s son is knocked off while […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content