If you love crime dramas,especially the one's based on true stories,then "The FBI Murders" is the film for you.Despite it's low-budget "Made-for-TV" trappings...I consider this to be just as powerful as the Al Pacino/Robert DeNiro thriller "Heat".
For those of you who don't remember, "In the line of duty" was a series of TV movies profiling the couragous and sometimes harrowing true tales of law enforcement officers and their bravery under fire.Over the years,the quality of these hard-hitting dramas have lost their luster...But the "FBI Murders" stands out as one of the best in the crime genre.
This particular movie centers on two Vietnam vets (David Soul and Michael Gross) who use their military training to pull off a string of violent,commando-style,bank and armored car robberies from the Fall of 1985 to the Spring of 1986 in Florida to support their families,mistresses,and lavish lifestyle after their series of hair-brained "get rich quick" schemes fall through.Their lightning-quick strikes and disappearances has left the police,and even the FBI's elite robbery task force,one fatal step behind.
Like the film "Heat",which I referenced earlier,the film focuses on the personal lives of the robbers and the agents.Michael Gross turns in a chilling character that is a far cry from his "sensitive dad" persona of "Family Ties".Gross's character is a scary psychopath who may or may not have been behind the brutal murder of his first wife and who is certainly abusive to his current wife and children despite his aura of Christian respectability.David Soul on the other hand is the opitamy of the "slow burning fuse".He's cold,calculating,and throughly dangerous.
On the FBI side,the focus is on the lead investigator in the robberies played by Ronny Cox.He's a straight arrow veteran who has no wife and kids...he's married to the FBI.What's worse is he's having to break in a hot-shot kid (Bruce Greenwood in an early role) as his new partner.The rest of the FBI unit is the picture of the "brotherhood of lawmen" cliche.They kid around with one another,they even have affectionate names and a few of them have interesting personal stories.For instance,when the head of the department (the actor's name escapes me, unfortunately) learns that a civilian who followed the bandits after one of their heists,traces the killers into the agent's neighborhood,the agent grow afraid that his family could end up victims and begins prowling the area for their getaway car.Another agent grapples with trying to make his young son understand that he doesn't go around getting into gunfights like the TV Cop Shows portray.
As the tension builds around these personal stories....the robbers are getting more and more desperate.And the agents are getting more and more determaned.And that climaxes into what has now been called one of the FBI's bloodiest shoot-outs.For high tension and high drama...this movie delivers.