May 12th: Dick Dastardly


103. Internal Affairs (Mike Figgis, 1990)

Seen in isolation from any of his other work, this is the film that could make you believe that Richard Gere is a talented actor who could fulfil a variety of roles. As corrupt cop Dennis Peck he manages to ooze across the screen leaving a trail of broken hearts and dead bodies in his wake. Andy Garcia is the Internal Affairs cop on his case and the two become entangled in a web of deceit that can only end badly. Gere is detestably magnetic, he dominates the action and Mike Figgis plays it up superbly with his direction and his own score. The film is soaked in a murky moral grey area and none of the main characters are above suspicion as Peck pulls the strings behind so many of them. This may be a police procedural but it is one filmed with style and an impressive villainous performance at its heart.

I reckon this is the only real villain that Gere has ever played. I can’t think of any others – I can’t actually recall any of his other performances that were of any real note. Anyone?

Note: Internal Affairs is listed in the Neon book 1000 Essential Movies on Video under ‘Cop Movies’.