True enough, movies about serial killers are just too many around, and the theme is simply overdone. Now, J8 has been shot in 1992, and if you make abstraction of all the dullest things done ever since, it IS a damn good movie.
First, Garcia's character John Berlin is no body-built, trigger-happy superman. He's merely a lab-tech, a forensic-oriented cop who stumbles upon what he thinks is the work of a serial. No shots fired, no wild car chases. The whole story is very plausible : from the cars they drive (a regular unmarked brown Police pack Caprice,and an 10-year old, battered 380SEC Mercedes as Berlin's personal car), to the clothes they wear, or the guns they carry. No fancy suits (although Garcia's short coat is really cool), and no 5-pound cannons (plain, California police regular issue Beretta 92). Creative police work, brainstorming and trial by error. Sounds a lot like your next door homicide cop daily bread and butter. And last but not least, the movie is shot in rural California...(well, BC posing as...) But it could have been New England ! A definite must see for those who enjoy Puccini, foggy morning ambiance rather than loud noises, squealing tires and shotgun blasts.