Oleg (Oleg Tartakov) and Emil (Karel Rodin) arrive in New York to collect money owed on a crime deal and soon embark on a crime spree. Emil dreams of fame and fortune while Oleg, who idolises Frank Capra, videotapes their crimes. They plan to sell their footage to a tabloid TV show hosted by Robert Hawkins (Kelsey Grammer) and plead not guilty on grounds of insanity caused by childhood abuse. Investigating their spree is celebrity cop Eddie Fleming (Robert De Niro) and fire department detective Jody Warsaw (Edward Burns).
 

4
A slick thriller which satirises popular culture and its fascination with violent crime.

Eddie Flemming, Robert De Niro, is a New York cop who has used the media, and especially top-rating TV current affairs programme Top Story, so effectively that he`s almost a household name. In the process of plucking up the courage to propose to his news reporter girlfriend, Nicolette, Melina Kanakaredes, Eddie becomes involved in investigating the savage murders of a Czech couple whose apartment was set alight to disguise the crime; also involved is fire marshal Jordy Warsaw, Edward Burns. The killers are new arrivals to America, Emil Slovak, Karel Roden, a vengeful Czech, and would-be filmmaker Oleg, Oleg Taktarov, a Russian ambitions to be a filmmaker - he videos his violent buddy`s murderous activities with a stolen camera. Writer-director John Herzfeld, who made an impressive debut five years ago with 2 Days In The Valley, has come up with an extremely powerful film which, beyond its exciting though violent thriller format, attacks some of the sicker aspects of contemporary America with barely disguised fury. Herzfeld is especially incensed by the values of a society that accepts chequebook journalism, rewards lawyers who defend known killers, and make popular specious TV programmes which deal in the shallowest terms with the personal problems of its guests. Some of these attacks are over-stated, but they`re worth exploring and they`re well integrated into this suspenseful, and at times unexpected, thriller.