‘AT RISK’ (2010)


As crime mysteries go, At Risk isn’t horrible. It boasts an intriguing story and some sharp twists but unfortunately, not even all its big-name stars can recue it; for this little known thriller, that is about all it has going for it.

At Risk (2010) TV Film Review

As a Boston detective, working at the beck and call of the city’s tough D.A. is not what Win Garano (Daniel Sunjata) signs on for. Still this is what he gets. While taking some forensic training, an unceremonious summons brings Win back to Boston by district attorney Monique Lamont (Andie MacDowell). She wants Win to solve a nearly forty year old murder case involving an fit victim in her seventies.

‘AT RISK’ (2010). Daniel Sanjuta co-stars with Andie McDowell in this TV mystery adaptation. All text is © Rissi JC and RissiWrites.com

Running for governor, Win knows all Monique really wants is a good photo shoot opportunity. He’s not going to fall for it; she may be a woman unaccustomed to being told “no,” but this is Win’s answer. Then there’s a threat on the life of his grandmother (Diahann Carroll) and his instincts get the better of him. Win agrees.  While in Boston, Win relies on his training partner Detective Sykes (Annabeth Gish) to help him solve the cold case. While she gathers the evidence from the original police reports, Win works on the street with the determined Detective Stump (Ashley Williams).

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For a made-for-television film, this is something that impresses in some spheres and others, terribly disappoints. Overall, the film is merely average; either the writers are inexperienced or bored with the material. Based on a series of novels much like Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone films, where those are actually sharp, good police dramas. This one seems more intent on squandering its endless potential. The script is a wreck from a standpoint of pacing and introducing us to all the players. Once things get rolling, it’s easer to “know” the connection everyone has but that doesn’t erase that the getting there is poor. Furthermore, I don’t think writers know how to create a good back-story for their characters considering there really is none.

Given what they had to work with, the cast is respectable. MacDowell is a popular actor, and lately Sunjata seems to be a stereotype in this sort of role (One for the Money, Gone) but then, he’s good so who cares!? I don’t regret having rented this; it’s entertaining for anyone who may like the cast or is looking for a new flick – especially if you like thrillers. The plot of the mystery is actually not bad, it just isn’t always good writing. The suspense doesn’t build as it should to be truly gripping but in all other respects, the story had a lot of misused potential. Without the drive to be a really good movie, I don’t see myself watching this one again.

Its bittersweet ending makes it even less appealing while its biggest problem was throwing away all the would-be promise it did have.

Content concerns: Flashbacks show a woman being bludgeoned to death [conversation reveals she was raped; later it is a talked about how it was done]. Another woman is shot through the heart [some blood] while a man is beaten to death. Another still threatens suicide and two more men are shot to death [one victim dies from a train running him over off-camera]. Someone binds, threatens and gags Monique. Win is a supposed to be ladies man who engages in one-time flings [there is some minor innuendo]. Profanity is infrequent but part of the dialogue. This is TVPG.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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