Not even Mel Harris, in a welcome departure as a coldblooded authoress, can salvage this yawn of a murder mystery.
Sleekly produced, and smoothly helmed by Michael Katleman, the result is nevertheless hollow at the center. That’s because writers Alanna Hamill and Robert Pucci have fashioned a plot that’s heavy on games but totally devoid of a human touch, let alone interesting characters.
Harris and co-star Ted Shackelford play competing mystery writers who decide to get too chummy and cerebral for their own good. Bodies start piling up, including their boorish publisher (Kenneth Welsh). But experiencing this movie is something akin to the emotional charge you get from working a crossword puzzle.
Astute tech credits and proficient thesping are layered on one-dimensional, stultifying material. But credit one knowing line: “Half the murders in this country have three-picture deals,” snaps a cynical detective.