Monday, May 4, 2009

Australian Thriller: Cops Cross the Line?

By David Luhrssen
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When Melbourne police detective James Jewel is called away to a murder scene in the middle of the night, his wife admonishes, “If it gets crazy, don’t be a hero this time, OK?” Apparently, shrinking from responsibility is not OK in his book. Detective Jewel responds to his wife with silence.

Fans of “The Shield” would probably love The Line, an Australian crime film out now on DVD. Young and idealistic, Jewel is the sort of cop who wants “to make a difference.” But his new partner, Mike Calis, can only sneer in response. Calis is a human battering ram with black diamond eyes that could kill at 50 feet. He’s never met he rule he hasn’t broken in pursuit of lawbreakers, whose methods differ little from his own.

Gritty and violent, The Line (filmed without flab by Australian director Michael Adante) runs largely on Calis’ adrenaline as an investigation into a nocturnal gangland slaying grows more on more curious, trespassing into a dark ecosystem of corruption.

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