A Killer Within Movie Review

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Psst, wanna see what C. Thomas Howell looks like now that he's almost 40? With a freaky spray-on tan and slicked-back hair, Howell is starting to look like the "Let's get ready to rumble!" guy.

Here Howell finds himself in the unlikely role of Addison Terrill, a high-powered Dallas lawyer who's married to a freaky wife (Sean Young) and in a rocky marriage that has to be enhanced by make-believe visits to his office. Pretty soon, the wife is dead, and one of Addison's old opponents (a guy he sent to prison) is on parole and, apparently, on the hunt. Did he kill the wife? Well, we don't really have any other suspects, so what else are we supposed to think. An hour and a half goes by as Addison plays vigilante with old pal Vargas (Giancarlo Esposito). Did they get their man? Is it the right man?

Lazy to a fault, A Killer Within's biggest problem is that as a whodunnit, there's no other whos to dun. The other options here are so limited that it's just silly. The title alludes to the fact that Addison will be indicted somehow for the crime, and based on his actions -- he refuses to let his son draw a picture of the killer after eyewitnessing the crime -- that wouldn't be a bad assumption. But that assumption would assume we care at all, and this tidy little story quickly starts trying to lay blame all over the place. And when that blame finally lands, is one of the most exquisitely idiotic conclusions in the history of motion pictures.

Badly acted and featuring a script that needs about a dozen rounds of rewrites, you're best off giving this one a pass.

DVD includes commentary and deleted scenes.

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A Killer Within Rating

" Grim "

Rating: NR, 2004

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