Off Limits (1988)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Movie InfoBuck McGriff (Willem Dafoe) and Albaby Perkins (Gregory Hines) are military police from the army's Criminal Investigation Department assigned to find a serial killer in 1968 war-torn Saigon. Hookers have been ritualistically murdered, and the two cops spend their final days of active duty in the sleazy back alleys of Saigon tracking down the killer in this military mystery. One by one, possible witnesses who can shed light on the case are systematically murdered.
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Critic Reviews for Off Limits
An explosive picture! Dafoe is typically great
The overseas setting of this whodunit fails to offset what is basically a lackluster story peopled by unsavory characters.
A noteworthy detective thriller set against a Vietnam war backdrop. Dafoe and Hines investigate a slew of prostitute murders in Saigon.
Audience Reviews for Off Limits
Even though its set during the Vietnam war Off Limits is first and foremost a genuine cop thriller, set in a hellish environment torn apart through warfare, and an effectively disturbing portrait of the horrible issues caused by American soldiers outside of the battlefields. McGriff and Perkins have the worst jobs in the world, since they're employed as army police officers in Saigon and responsible to investigate the crimes committed by American soldiers. One day they're assigned to investigate the murder of a Vietnamese prostitute who had a child with an American soldier. They quickly discover this isn't the first gruesome crime of its kind, as no less than seven similar cases were reported during the past year and they're clearly the work of a serial killer with a strict modus operandi. The devoted and headstrong duo also discovers that the previous officer prematurely quit his investigation even though he came fairly close to capturing the killer, undoubtedly because several high ranked officers got involved and his own life became endangered. McGriff and Perkins, however, are determined to stop to sadist killer, especially when they receive help from a beautiful and street-wise young novice. "Off Limits" is a fast-paced, suspense and frequently very violent thriller with a screenplay that is full of misleading twists, false leads and red herrings, like a legitimate and compelling whodunit thriller ought to be. Some sequences are even downright fantastic, for instance the helicopter-interrogation (Scott Glenn is sublime) or the nail-biting scene where the copper duo is surrounded by a mob of furious and vengeful Vietnamese people. Christopher Crowe's direction is tight and consequently surefooted ? which is quite remarkable for a debut feature ? and his own script is *almost* completely devoid of dreadful clichés and irritating stereotypes. I do emphasize the word 'almost' because a Vietnam movie without mad-raving American officers and/or foul-mouthed Vietnamese prostitutes is practically unthinkable. Dafoe and Hines provide some terrific on screen chemistry, but they certainly aren't your typical witty interracial buddies like Eddie Murphy & Nick Nolte in "48 Hours" or Mel Gibson & Danny Glover in "Lethal Weapon". They tease and provoke each other all the time, but the atmosphere of the film and the nature of the events are simply to austere to mix with comedy. The film is beautifully shot and has a marvelous soundtrack filled with timeless contemporary songs from James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Arthur Resnick. "Off Limits" is a terrific and incomprehensibly overlooked film. If you have the opportunity to watch it, please do so without hesitation.More
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