John Frankenheimer’s 1989 thriller Dead Bang needs more love. The film stars the mighty Don Johnson as Jerry Beck, a detective tracking white supremacists over the Christmas period.
The supporting cast for the film includes Penelope Ann Miller, William Forsythe and Bob Balaban (reuniting with Johnson after a Miami Vice guest-spot) – that’s a pretty impressive line-up of talent for a largely forgotten ’80s thriller. Even the production design was by the great Ken Adam (James Bond, Dr. Strangelove).
Johnson is great as the crumpled detective who is a million miles away from Sonny Crockett. Robert Foster’s script has some great moments and Frankenheimer’s direction is unique in its tone and pacing. It was made during a fallow period in John Frankenheimer‘s career, but it’s just a s good as his comeback film, Ronin and it makes for a good Christmas double bill with his Ben Affleck starrer, Reindeer Games.
Dead Bang fizzled with just $8.1 million at the US box office – but you should try and seek out. You owe it to yourself.