EYEWITNESS



Television, Movie and Play Reviews

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

MURDER AT 1600

Starring Wesley Snipes, Diane Lane, Daniel Benzali, Dennis Miller, and Ronny Cox.
Directed by Arnold Kopelson

If you have to choose between seeing this movie and Absolute Power, go see Absolute Power.

Wesley Snipes plays Detective Harlan Regis, a Washington, D.C. homicide cop who seems more interested in saving his condemned apartment building than in finding out who murdered a gorgeous blonde at the White House. True, he is teamed with a less than cooperative Secret Service agent (Diane Lane) and the Secret Service in general would prefer that he leave their turf alone, but I found the portrayal by Snipes to be very lack-luster. Alan Alda, as the President's national security advisor was a bit of a stretch for me although Daniel Benzali as head of the Secret Service detail worked. And while I am not particularly a fan of Dennis Miller's movie roles, I found myself wishing as this movie dragged on, that he had been given a bigger part.

This movie seems like several other movies rolled into one. The President's family is implicated in the brutal death of a government worker in the White House. She has just had sex with someone in the Oval office. Was it the President? Was it the President's son? Was it the janitor? Who knows what and who is covering up what?

The bad guys might be the good guys and of course, the good guys might just be the bad guys.The plot is so flimsy and obvious that I doubt anyone in the audience was still interested in who killed whom by midway through the film.

The lovely Secret Service agent Nina Chance (Diane Lane) is in fear of her life. She knows that there is a cover-up going on. She steals the evidence. The men following her are her colleagues. So what does she do? First she meets with Detective Regis in the same outfit she was wearing when she first eluded her would be captors. Then she meets Regis again and brings him back to her motel room as they stand at the window (without closing the drapes) and watch their pursuers arrive. Then we have the obligatory chase where she and Regis only barely escape. And did I mention that we get to go through the old tunnels under the White House to gain access to the President and foil the nasty plot that has been hatched against him because he won't send troops into North Korea?

If you want to see the tunnels under the White House, other films have done the scene better.


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