Directed by: William Kaufman (The Prodigy; The Hit List)
Written by: William Kaufman; Jay Moses
Cast: Johnny Strong (Black Hawk Down, The Fast and Furious), Kevin Phillips (Notorious, Pride), Costas Mandylor (Mobsters, Saw III, IV, V, VI and the Final Chapter), Sean Patrick Flanery (Powder), Clifford “Method Man” Smith (How High, The Fast and the Furious), Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Charmed), Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy, Resident Evil: Afterlife), Bas Rutten (UFC, Paul Blart:Mall Cop), Jolene Blalock (Star Trek: Enterprise, Starship Troopers: Marauder) and Tom Berenger (Platoon, Major League)
Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, Sinners and Saints tells the story of Detective Sean Riley (Strong) who is dealing with the death of his young son as well as what looks like the death of his marriage. To add to his torment, Riley is facing a possible suspension from the department after his elite “Street Crimes Task Force” is ambushed on a routine service of a warrant and he witnesses the death of his partner. Afraid that this may be what sends Riley over the edge, his mentor and Captain, Trahan (Berenger) re-assigns Riley to investigate some questionable murders that may be gang-related and Riley is also given a new partner, Ganz (Phillips). As the new partners investigate the crime, Riley receives a late night visit from an old friend, Colin (Flanery), a security contractor just back from the Middle East, who may be caught up in the middle of their case. Add to that, Riley and Ganz are being pursued by the psychotic Raymond Crowe (C. Mandylor) and his cronies who have a stake in this case they can’t afford to lose.
I have to say, I loved Sinners and Saints! It is a great action-packed cop movie, plain and simple. There are no aliens trying to take over the world, machines turning into cars, it’s the good guys versus the bad guys with lots of gunfights, explosions and old-fashioned fist-fights, plus there are a few twists but its in the story. I hate when there are so many special effects that the actors are an afterthought. Johnny Strong is excellent as Sean Riley, you feel for him, he’s a man who’s world is crumbling, you wanna see him save himself by getting to the truth behind this case. I would really like to see more of him, he could be a huge action star given the right chance. Kevin Phillips plays his role as Riley’s partner Ganz well and he keeps Strong’s character grounded. They have great chemistry as the loose cannon and the stable family guy, very reminiscent of Murtaugh and Riggs in the Lethal Weapon movies. Costas Mandylor is doing what he does best, playing the bad guy. I’ve seen him in several movies now playing this role and he is the bad guy you love to hate and Crowe is no exception. Sean Patrick Flanery’s role as Riley’s friend is small but key to the movie and when Flanery is on-screen as the troubled Colin, he steals any scene he is in. Everybody in this movie, from the newcomers to the acting veterans, plays their part to a T and because of that, the story flows. William Kaufman took what could have been a typical shoot ’em up and gave you a fast paced, well-written action story with characters that had depth and that you cared about.
I didn’t wanna give away too much, I want people to see the movie and be surprised, to be on the edge of their seat, wondering what is going to happen next. I would definitely recommend this movie to anybody who is a fan of action movies, it has a superb cast, an excellent story and lots of action.
Sinners and Saints is scheduled for release on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 10, 2012, and is available for pre-order on Amazon.
By Mandy Raytik