McGriff and Albaby are probably doing the worst law enforcement job in the world - they are plain clothes U.S. military policemen on duty in war-time Saigon. However, their job becomes even... See full summary »
A simple self-destructive drifter and tough small-time boxer with a brain injury that could kill him meets and falls for a cute beach carnival owner, Ruby, but also befriends a sleazy friendly criminal, Wesley, who's planing a big score.
A small southwestern town Sheriff finds a body in the desert with a suitcase and five hundred thousand dollars. He impersonates the man and stumbles into an F.B.I. investigation.Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
In order for a movie to hold our attention by presenting interesting and exciting events that exceed what might happen in our normally more mundane lives, we have to suspend our natural critical view that, 'things wouldn't happen that way in real life...'. 'It's a movie', so we cut it some slack and accept things that on the whole, might be somewhat unlikely.
Right at the outset White Sands demands a great deal from our reserves of suspended disbelief, and this is because a small hick town sheriff, who turns out to be a very thorough and exacting crime scene detective, responds to the discovery in his jurisdiction, of an apparent suicide victim who has a briefcase containing a huge amount of money, by becoming the sole self-appointed investigator. Then he discovers a lead, and with no backup what-so-ever he decides to take the whole briefcase full of money and set out in a convertible '65 Corvette no less, on a quest to find information about the deceased through pretending to be that person!
As our good sheriff drives off and away from his beautiful wife, in his oddly chosen very valuable classic convertible sports car, all alone and with half a million bucks in unknown and unsecured evidence in a briefcase on the seat beside him, we know that he has no idea whom he might meet. What will such people think of this money-stuffed briefcase packing shill of the victim whom for all our sheriff knows, might know is in fact dead? We may well be excused for thinking, 'That wouldn't happen that way in real life'.
Do ya think?
With a lesser actor in the lead role we might be inclined to see if it isn't too late to get out of our seats and go back to the ticket booth and make a scene about a refund, or to make a phone call and see if the video store is still open, but it's Willem Dafoe and he does pretty darned well with the material.
If our next thought, seeing this lone man set off on his quest with his unsecured briefcase of money, is something along the lines of, 'This can't be good...' then we are treated to the fulfilment of our forebodings. It does become much better though. If we forgive the movie's presumption to this point then we are treated to a somewhat less demanding remainder. To say any more would be to do a job of telling that the movie actually does much better than I can.
There are several big names in the cast and they do a commendable job. The plot thickens, the characters develop and the viewer is never required to strain credulity to the degree demanded by that setup scenario. It's a generally satisfactory movie and if not in the league of the giants, you shouldn't regret viewing it.
Present ratings are rather harsh for this drama but for my part I'd think it warrants a solid 7.
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