When you look back at some of the more popular cop flicks from the late 80s and early 90s, one thing you can't help but to notice is that they contained quite a bit of humor.
Go ahead, think back to "Lethal Weapon" or even "48 Hours" both great movies, but each contained a ton of laughs. So it's no surprise that "The January Man" with Kevin Kline and Susan Sarandon wouldn't be any different, well, for the most part.
"The January Man" casts Kline as Lt. Nick Starkey, an ex-cop turned firefighter that turns back into a cop, all for the price of dinner with a lovely lady. Let's go back in
time and see how much humor they can pack into this would-be thriller.
Be warned, at the time of film production, "Bad Azz" cops were not standard issue like the ones we often see in today's films. For instance, Nick isn't the bare-knuckle cop that keeps a bottle of whiskey on his nightstand or even a 357 under his pillow. He's just an ordinary guy with quirks and bizarre tastes in food that seem interesting only to him. Now that you have a quick sense of who Nick Starkey is, let me tell you what the NYPD is asking him to do.
Track down a serial killer that has strangled more than 10 women in less than a year!
Now, if it were up to me, as I'm sure a lot of you would agree, John Mclane or even Cobra would have been better suited to catch a serial killer. Dirty Harry or even Mahoney, well not Mahoney, but you see where I'm going, anyone but some kookie Capt. Weird would have been the best choice for taking down a serial killer. But if they would have cast some grimy cop with infinite ammunition then it wouldn't be a comedy now would it..lol Yeah, that was a problem for me in watching this movie because as much as I wanted to be thrilled, it was difficult to overlook the stark differences in my 2013 idea of top notch cop.
Fortunately, for us, the film has at least one or two welcome distractions for the viewer's inspiration such as Harvey Keitel(Frank Starkey) for the ladies and Susan Sarandon(Christine Starkey) for the men. Both of them gave their standard fare of performances, but the scene steal-er award goes to Danny Aiello(Capt. Alcoa), for the outrageous shout-fests that he seems to have in almost every movie I've seen him in. Danny is one of those guys that you can add to a glass of water and it would turn into the Brooklyn Bridge, he is New York.
Even further still, "The January Man" just didn't deliver the rush I was looking for when I rented it the other day. The main reason for this is that I've grown to enjoy my 2-gun toting cops that will shoot through a crowd of people just to hit one. You know those cops that have a little grime under their nails and maybe a million or three stashed away in some Swiss account with a permanent 5 o clock shadow that last throughout the whole movie..lol Yeah, we're spoiled in today's films, but sometimes it's good to go back and look at how far our fictional police force has come, wouldn't you say?
So, is there a recommendation for this film, well of course there is! "The January Man" is for older audiences that enjoy a lighthearted thriller/comedy with no more bloodshed than a mosquito bite.