WRITTEN IN BLOOD
MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
Michael T. Weiss as MATTHEW RANSOM
Peter Coyote as JOHN TRAVELLER
Maureen Flannigan as JUDE TRAVELLER
Steve Rankin as LUKE WILLIAMS
Dan Gauthier as MARK PEARSALL
Gwen McGee as CAPTAIN STREETER
Nancy Valen as MARY RANSOM
Directed by: John Terlesky
BY KEVIN CARR
There are some folks who might like this movie. I know someone who really likes Peter Coyote as an actor. She also really liked “The Pretender” series that was on television a few years back. So, being a fan of both Coyote and the Pretender himself, Michael T. Weiss, she might enjoy this film.
I, however, haven’t really followed Peter Coyote’s career. To be honest, after remembering him as the government agent from “E.T.,” the only other movie I really can place him in is “Sphere” – and that’s not a great sign. Also, I never really liked “The Pretender.” Aside from the great set of legs on the female villain, I thought the show was kinda lame.
So, there was no pain in my heart when I started watching “Written In Blood” and found it to be only so-so. And that’s being generous.
To make matters worse, there’s nothing to balance out the quality on this DVD. This is your standard late-model Dimension release just to get it on the shelves.
In the movie, Peter Coyote plays a police detective named John Traveller who is found holding a shotgun over his murdered wife and her lover. His partner Matthew Ransom (Weiss) is the first on the scene, which eventually ends in Traveller’s arrest. Soon, Traveller is convicted of murder.
During the trial, Ransom has his own problems. His wife has left him, and his job is on the rocks. This might have to do with the fact that he’s a pathetic alcoholic, but I’ll let the home viewer to decide this for himself. Before he’s kicked off the force, Ransom starts digging into some other murders in town and discovers a link among them. When the clues start pointing to Traveller’s sexy daughter (Maureen Flannigan), Ransom must discover the truth.
The key to a film is the hero. The hero can’t be too perfect or he’s unbelievable and your audience will start to resent him. However, a hero can’t be too flawed as well. This is where many writers make their mistakes. In an attempt to appease their writing teachers and self-appointed gurus like Robert McKee, they make the hero so flawed that he just turns into a jerk.
This is the problem with Matthew Ransom. He’s an awful husband, so I felt no remorse for him when he lost his wife. Then, he’s a terrible detective as well. He has to resort to visiting Traveller in jail to get leads on the case. So, for me it was no big deal when he was about to lose his job.
Ultimately, the film wraps up with a weak, almost unbelievable explanation to the mystery. It reinforces the fact that Ransom is a terrible detective, and it never really brings closure to anything. Plus, you have to suffer through the film looking at Michael T. Weiss’s ridiculous hairstyle. At least the producers of “The Pretender” got him to clean up a little bit during that show.
Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Widescreen (1.85:1), enhanced for 16×9 televisions. French and Spanish subtitles. English subtitles for the hearing impaired.