After a horrible incident, police officer Tom Armstrong retires and moves to Mexico. But he is forced to return when the madman who targeted him once has returned, and only Armstrong knows the killer's mind well enough to play his games. But, of course, this only makes him a target.
Director Robert Kurtzman ("Wishmaster"), more generally known as the FX maestro behind scores of films (often in the horror genre), brings his vision to the script of Alex Vesha, who knows something about tense situations, psychotic (but brilliant) killers and bomb scares. There are more than a handful of moments here where lives are on the line -- sometimes hundreds. Eat your heart out, Jack Bauer.
While the lead role of Armstrong (Sean Patrick Flanery) has to be admired, there's no denying that Joe Pantoliano steals the show as The Lion. Menacing, devious, a master of disguise... he's a perfect casting choice for a villain. Despite decades in acting (including "The Goonies", "The Matrix" and "The Sopranos"), he still hasn't really achieved the notoriety he deserves. This probably will not be the film that breaks him into the top tier, but that day is coming. Watch out, Kevin Spacey.
I have to say I'm not really keen on the romantic aspects, and there is some slowness in general where the piano music kicks in. I understand the importance of the romance and relationships in this one, but there is a break in the pace that I think ultimately works against the fast action of the movie. I cannot really offer a solution of how to reconcile the need for romance and the pace, though, so I think the best was done with what they had. I would have replaced the romantic interest with a platonic partner or boss, but that's just me.