An Officer and a Murderer (2012)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Gary Cole in An Officer and a Murderer (2012)

He's No Gentleman

Colonel Russell Williams (Gary Cole) of the Canadian Air Force has worked his way up the ranks until he is made a base commander with his society wife well respected when it come to her charity work. But whilst being made a base commander would usually mean he moves on to the base he chooses to stay in the small town where no one locks their doors and everyone gets on. But Williams has a secret; it started with sneaking in to other people's homes to take their lingerie and photos to add to his secret collection at home but his crimes escalated to much more serious. Meanwhile local cop, Detective Jennifer Dobson (Laura Harris), and FBI trained interrogation specialist Detective Nick Gallagher (Rossif Sutherland) start investigating the crimes which lead them to suspect Williams. But how can they arrest such a prominent and respected member of society with out rock solid evidence which he is so good at covering up thanks to his military training.

15 minutes ago I wrote that synopsis for "An Officer and a Murderer" and since then I've been trying to work out what to write next and I am still not entirely sure what to write. You see "An Officer and a Murderer" is based on the true story of Colonel Russell Williams, his crimes and his arrest and right from the word go it doesn't shy away from showing us everything from Williams being highly respected to the point he is beyond reproach to his fetish for breaking in and stealing underwear as well as wearing it. In fairness it takes its time to show how creepy Williams got but it doesn't try to create any mystery and instead makes it all about the performance of Gary Cole and then the cops tracking down and getting their man.

Laura Harris in An Officer and a Murderer (2012)

Now the weaker of these things is the cops tracking down Colonel Williams because unfortunately Laura Harris comes across far too bright and bubbly through out and fails to convince that she is a good detective. This switches the focus from the solving of the crime to the way the characters of Dobson and Gallagher get on which sadly gives "An Officer and a Murderer" an ordinary, cliche side.

Thankfully there is the performance of Gary Cole and he in many ways saves "An Officer and a Murderer" because he makes Colonel Williams such an in control creep who goes about his business, tormenting women and getting his kicks in such an efficient manner he never comes across as your more typical out of control, crazed psycho. Combine Cole's performance with the depraved things which Colonel Williams is shown doing in the movie and it is this side where you get the sense of horror and the atmosphere.

What this all boils down to is that "An Officer and a Murderer" has its issues, elements which drag it down to what it is which is a made for TV movie. But it also features a strong performance from Gary Cole which makes the character of Colonel Williams not a psycho but a real sicko.