Truth they say is stranger than fiction, and most of the time it’s even more interesting. “Sirens,” a story about police brutality and racial injustice could have easily been ripped from today’s top headlines. Instead writer, director and exec producer John Sacret Young totally manufactures the most implausible scenarios, motives and characters to create a completely unbelievable drama.
Dana Delany stars as Sally Rawlings, a career woman who has just made executive vice president at a predominate telecommunications firm. Instead of celebrating her new promotion, she waxes nostalgic and decides to visit her ex-husband on the anniversary of their divorce.
Edward Morgan (Vondie Curtis Hall), a dynamic but small time college professor reluctantly meets with his ex-wife, but soon joins her for a quick liaison in her car which is parked under a secluded overpass. After sharing a passionate moment in the car, the police arrive on the scene to find the two in the steamy vehicle, barely dressed.
Officer Wexler (Keith Carradine), upon seeing an interracial couple, suspects foul play and orders them out of the car without their clothes.
Instead of trying to explain this awkward situation to the police, this supposedly controlling woman who would argue her way out a traffic ticket stands meekly by as emotions quickly escalate. Vincent, outraged at their treatment, defies Wexler’s orders, tries to put on his pants and is shot dead by the officer.
Wexler claims that Vincent had a gun, a story that is backed up by his partner Officer Bontempo (Justin Theroux) who was actually in the squad car at the time of the shooting. Although soon under review, the two officers are fiercely protected by Lieutenant Denby (Brian Dennehy) who refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing in the case.
Sacret Young wrote this story from Sally’s perspective and the crux of this drama is supposed to be her journey of self-discovery as she tries to right this terrible wrong. More aptly however, pic is the ruination of Sally, a shrewd businesswoman of means and talent who too quickly chooses the most morally corrupt path. When a small-time lawyer rejects her case as weak and a TV reporter tells her it doesn’t smack of ratings potential, Sally embarks on a vigilante-like quest.
Instead of exploring other legal options, or joining forces with Vincent’s distraught family, she dons a ridiculous wig and starts following the two police officers, hanging out in bars, leaving threatening notes on their cars and hacking into their bank accounts. Because her avenue to seek justice is so shady, any kind of resolution is ultimately unsatisfying.
Sloppy editing and a zombie like performance by Delany further mire Sacret Young’s disjointed script. Theroux, as Wexler’s semi-morally conscious partner is full of contradictions and is a weak link in a crucial role. As Wexler, Keith Carradine might as well have on a big bad wolf costume.
Although billed as stars, Hall and Dennehy have miniscule screen time.
As director, Sacret Young substitutes any narrative with disjointed montages and extreme close-ups while overbearing music by Brian Tyler reinforces the melodramatic nature of the film. Technical credits are average.