Recently I watched the Postman Always Rings Twice. A classic thriller but flawed. I believe this is as good a film as that classic film in many ways. The main character looks pretty shaggy for a reason as later in the film when he is reborn he isn't recognized as his former self even by his short lived girlfriend. I didn't recognize him either. I'm not sure but I think his nose was longer and wider before he shaved his beard off and cut his hair short.
The main character is supposed to be doing work for a lawyer who hired him to video tape people suspected of insurance fraud. But the real purpose is to frame him for their murders and edit his video to include scenes of the people dieing so it appears he taped his victims while he murdered them. The video tape is in the hands of the police and when he disappears he is considered the killer without ever having been tried for the crime.
But the real murderers dump him into the lake with his hands and feet in chains and he managed to escape. We don't find that out until close to the end of the film when he reveals himself to us.
Tom Arnold's character is a little over the top for a former marine sniper who lives next door to the writer who rents the condo for the summer. The writer is the friend of the accused missing murderer he said and he is investigating the crimes his friend was accused of commiting. The closer he looks the more danger he is in and people began to die when they speak to him. The writer turns out to be the man who was framed.
The final scenes are our hero killing the bad guys and revealing the truth about drug smuggling, murder and why he was framed for the murders all the while freeing the former girlfriend held hostage.
We have a drug smuggling son of a rich man and a host of conspirators including a doctor, and two dirty police detectives. The main problems I have with the film are that the girlfriend wouldn't recognize her former lover's voice. One thing he can't disguise is his voice. The other is where did a down and out man accused of murder acquire so much money in just a year if he is forced to use a false identity and hiding from the police. He's loaded with cash. Lastly, how can Tom Arnold afford to live so well in such a nice condo? There is no mention of him ever working or having any source of income. But he drives a high powered car and lives well. No explanation is needed for us I guess.
The final shootout in an expensive home and neighborhood brings a sole corrupt detective when the silent alarm goes off. But often a security company would notify the police of a silent alarm and then patrol officers would answer the call, not a detective. He wouldn't even be aware unless someone called him privately. Then Tom Arnold saves our hero by shooting the bad guy from an FBI helicopter with a sniper rifle but the amount of time it took for him to line up the shot our hero would already be dead.
With a few minor tweeks this could have been a far better film.
Movies like the Count of Monte Cristo where a man is seeking revenge is also a good story but with some better twists and a character who changes his appearance to keep people from recognizing who he is. But his former lover does recognize him in that story in spite of his disguise.