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Film / In the Line of Duty: The FBI Murders

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In the Line of Duty: The FBI Murders is a 1988 made-for-TV movie based on the 1986 Miami FBI shootout and starring David Soul and Michael Gross as Michael Platt and Russell Matix, two robbers in the Miami area who target banks and armored cars. Also starring are Ronny Cox and Bruce Greenwood as Special Agents Grogan and Dove, who are some of the FBI Agents investigating the crime wave Platt and Matix are behind.

The movie has several stand-alone sequels by the same director, including A Cop for the Killing, Manhunt in the Dakotas, Street War, Ambush in Waco, The Price of Vengeance, Hunt for Justice, and Blaze of Glory.

Has nothing to do with the Hong Kong series of the same name, also known as Yes, Madam!.


This movie contains examples of:

  • Afraid of Blood: Agent Mireles states in the movie that the sight of blood makes him pass out, nevermind what happens later in the movie.
  • Armed Blag: Platt & Matix' first robbery was an armored car.
  • Bank Robbery: How Platt & Matix make their money.
  • Berserk Button: Platt at certain times. Especially during the pinball scene.
    • Matix becomes furious finding out his wife is pregnant and drives her out of their home. He later warns his mistress to not become pregnant during a tense argument in a restaurant.
  • Bloodless Carnage: An armed car guard gets shot in the stomach with a shotgun? He just lays on his back and winces.
  • Crazy Survivalist: The FBI raids their camp after they suspect them to be the ones behind the robbery, only to be proven wrong.
  • Crooks Are Better Armed: One of the most famous examples in 20th century American police history. Michael Platt's Ruger Mini-14 and its .223 Remington ammo far outclassed the .357 Magnum revolvers and 9mm auto-loading pistols the FBI agents had on hand, and allowed him to pull a One-Man Army shootout against eight agents. The movie exaggerates this by depicting his rifle as the fully-automatic AC-556K variant of the Mini-14 loaded with an extended 40-round magazine, which he also reloads once. In reality, Platt used a regular semi-automatic Mini-14 with a standard-sized magazine, and did not fire enough shots to require a reload.
    • Further research about the event in the 21st century, as well as Agent Edmundo Mireles Jr. (the man who killed Platt & Matix) publishing his own personal autobiographical account of the shootout, revealed that the FBI team should have had three additional long guns available besides Mireles' lone shotgun. A second shotgun that should have been accessible to the team had been moved into a car's trunk earlier in the day instead of sitting ready between the seats, and two other FBI agents assigned to the team who were equipped with an M16 assault rifle and an MP5 submachine gun had the unfortunate coincidence of both needing to use the restroom at the moment Platt & Matix were spotted and the stakeout team took off in hot pursuit without them, which left them stranded away from the gunfight and unable to bring their weapons to bear.
  • Determinator: Platt infamously suffers multiple gunshot wounds during the final shootout, several of which would have been eventually fatal, but refuses to die and goes on to kill or incapacitate the majority of the FBI team.
    • Agent Mireles ultimately ends the firefight with most of his team dead or wounded despite a crippling injury preventing him from using his shotgun or revolver properly.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Only Platt has the privilege of calling Matix "Willy".
  • Fatal Family Photo: A photograph of all the FBI Agents on the case at a barbecue before the shootout is shown during the credits.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Platt & Matix were both military soldiers turned bank robbers.
  • Hiding Behind Religion: Matix uses the church to hide his true history as a bank robber.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Discussed after the first robbery between the FBI agents and a police detective.
  • Immune to Bullets: In the final shootout, Platt & Matix were still mobile and articulate despite being filled with bullets during the final shootout.
  • Living a Double Life: Platt & Matix are both successful businessmen and churchgoers when they aren't committing their crimes.
  • New Meat: Agent Dove is a newcomer to the FBI team and is well-qualified but has comparatively little field experience. Naturally, he earns his squad nickname right before his death in the final shootout.
  • Not Quite Dead: The target shooter Platt & Matix shot for his car in the Everglades turns out to have survived the shooting.
  • Phony Veteran: Vickie doubts Platt's military achivements upon first meeting him, only to be quickly told off.
    • Funnily enough, shortly after that discussion, Platt falsely tells Vickie that he's working for the CIA and explains that's how he and Matix have such large amounts of money.
  • Robbing the Mob Bank: While it is never shown, Platt & Matix both comment that robbing banks would be easier than robbing drug dealers.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Agent Grogan is established early on to be the 'best shot in Miami' but is nearsighted. His glasses are knocked off and accidentally crushed at the beginning of the final firefight and he ultimately dies when he fails to see Platt during a lull in the gunfire. Despite this, he does still manage to hit Platt several times.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Despite gunning down numerous armored car guards and people lone target shooters for their cars, Platt hesitates killing an elderly bank teller because she couldn't get a door open.

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