Starring: Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer, Avery Brooks
Director: John Herzfeld
Armed with a screen legend and socially-aware subject matter in “15 Minutes”, director John Herzfeld mixes exciting action fare with an attempt to instil a deeper commentary about media obsession with tragedy.
Eddie Fleming (De Niro) enjoys the media attention that has turned him from successful homicide detective to celebrity. By ensuring that unethical TV anchorman, Robert Hawkins (Grammer – TVs “Frasier”), is on the scene during his major busts, Fleming manages to get his face on TV more so than your average cop. A suspicious fire at an apartment block brings Fleming together with arson investigator, Jody Warsaw (Burns – “The Brothers McMullan”, “She’s the One”). They realise that the fire is no accident and embark on a homicide investigation.
Herzfeld keeps things moving pretty well with some excellent action sequences, but the balancing act between balls-to-the-wall action and the “media preoccupation with violence is bad” social commentary, waters things down too much. You are left with the thought that either this is a serious movie that pokes fun at its own plot or a light-hearted yarn that takes itself too seriously. In essence the movie lies awkwardly between two stools, and no doubt it’s crying out “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”.