A suspenseful high tension thriller starring Roy Scheider, and Adam Baldwin about a boy that's been kidnapped by two mismatched hitmen. The boy tries to put them at each other's throats while being driven to their employers, possibly to be killed. Cohen, an older no nonsense, straight laced, professional becomes increasingly irritated with his partner Tate, a young, brutish, hot tempered, psychopathic killer. When their prisoner uses unnatural guile and resourcefulness to play them off against each other the movie becomes filled with edgy, suffocating tension. Written and directed by Eric Red, who also brought us Near Dark and The Hitcher.
The film provides examples of:
- Ax-Crazy: Tate is a psychopath obsessed with hurting and/or killing everyone he can.
- Balance of Power: Possibly why Cohen & Tate was forced to work with each other so they can compensate for each other's personality, flaws, strengths, and weakness. Cohen balance out Tate's hotheadedness, Tate balances out Cohen's age, and physical weakness.
- Divide and Conquer: Travis play Cohen and Tate off of each other.
- Driven to Suicide: Cohen shoots himself in front of Travis after realizing there was no escape after being surrounded by police in every direction.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Cohen is VERY skilled with his Colt pistol. he shoots a state trooper in the back of the head while driving behind said troopers squad car. After suspecting of being recognized by the gas station attendant he shoots the clerk several yards away, and the phone he was using, including shooting out the power to the gas station!!, Travis' dad was one lucky mofo to survive being shot by this guy.
- Irony: Cohen pretty much chew out Tate over the fact he's a Loose Canon, and being careless and sloppy. The irony comes from the fact that Tate, makes sure all of his victims are deader than dead, while Cohen's reserved, practical method of killing Travis dad with one shot fails to get the job done. Essentially setting into motion their gradual downfall.
- Oh, Crap!: When Travis see that Tate is still alive after looking through the back windshield, whom was creepily illuminated thanks to the red brake lights.
- The Sociopath: Cohen could be this. Unlike Tate he rarely shows emotions. He kills people without losing his composture and he outright tells Travis that he'll be probably killed by his boss after being interrogated. However, after all that happened and near the end, Cohen points his gun at Travis several times, but he decides against it, showing a little bit of humanity, which is even pointed out by Travis himself.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Tate uses SIX shotgun shells to kill Travis's mom, while Cohen shoots his dad just once (a shot that didn't kill him). Which leads to the Plethora of Mistakes.
- You're Insane!: Travis yells at Cohen that Tate is "nuts", in which Cohen replies by wearily saying "I Know".