Lisa Schwarzbaum
October 16, 1998 AT 04:00 AM EDT

One Tough Cop

Current Status
In Season
Drama, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a D

NYPD detective Bo Dietl (Stephen Baldwin) busts bad guys but he hasn’t got time for procedural niceties. Bo hangs with mobsters he’s known since childhood — his best friend (Mike McGlone) is an underboss — but he never gets dirty. Bo entrusts his life to his hard-drinking, gambling partner (Chris Penn), and the two crack the case of a nun who’s been raped and beaten into a coma. The Feds hate Bo. We’re supposed to love him (the real Dietl loves himself in the autobiography on which One Tough Cop is based). But it’s hard to get past the hackneyed setups — cop dines with Mob buddy in ornate Italian restaurant, cop is attracted to Mob buddy’s mistress (Gina Gershon), etc. And then there’s the calcified talk in Jeremy Iacone’s script. (Random lines: ”What kind of animal would do this?” and ”Becoming a cop was a chance to make a difference.”) Director Bruno Barreto gets a nice sense of NYC’s street landscape. But then Bo goes and tells the lady Fed (Barreto’s wife, Amy Irving, looking like Marcia Clark), ”Investigate the hairs on my a– !” Thanks, no. D

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