Sloane Does Stone
Do you like the "Jesse Stone" movies? If so I am pretty sure that "Concrete Canyons" will appeal as they are very similar in style. "Concrete Canyons" may see a former small town sheriff heading to the big city to try and find his son who is accused of murder but it has that same feel of a man with years of experience using his coply intuition to solve a crime whilst battling his own demons. Yes that does mean that "Concrete Canyons" is a movie which is little more than a cliche but it is nicely put together with a laid back feel, relying on the character of former sheriff Ben Sloane to make it work rather than any great action or drama.
Having resigned from being Sheriff following his wife's death some years earlier Ben Sloane (Scott Patterson - Saw V) is tortured by the loss, hitting the bottle to make the nights easier. But he is still an expert tracker and when he learns that his estranged son Nick (Andrew Dunbar) is wanted in connection with a murder in Chicago Ben heads to the city to use his tracking skills and years of police work to not only find Nick but prove his innocence.
The thing about "Concrete Canyons" is that the story is unimportant because the movie is not about the crime. As such if you focus on the plot which sees Ben poking his nose in where it's not wanted as he tries to find out who committed the murder his son is wanted for it is riddled with holes. Not only that the way it is presented is quite weak and you find yourself laughing at things such as Ben staking out a construction site but is really in full view of those he is watching.
But as I said the crime isn't really that important because what "Concrete Canyons" is all about is the character of Ben Sloane and his style of crime solving. Now with Sloane being an expert tracker with years of experience we have some antagonistic fun as he has numerous run ins with Det. Kincaid, what a cliche name, as he winds her up by working out what happened with some slim clues that others miss. And this side of the movie is fun even if it is totally predictable to the point that for all the animosity between Sloane and Kincaid you know there will be mutual respect by the time things wrap up.
And then there is of course the element of family issues as Sloane having not seen or heard from his son Nick in three years discovers plenty about him. It is again all very obvious as Sloane's demons surface over the death of his wife and the blame he secretly holds for it. And yes it is just another cliche to add to a whole list of cliches but it works.
The thing which makes "Concrete Canyons" entertaining is the casting of Scott Patterson as Ben Sloane because he delivers everything you expect from the character. The character itself may be a cowboy hat wearing cliche but the fact you sense he blames himself for his wife's death, is confident in what he works out due to years of being a cop and not afraid to walk into danger makes him likeable and that is what this is all about. Having said that Polly Shannon may have the bad luck of playing the cliche named Det. Kincaid but she does it well and there is a nice spark between Shannon and Patterson as he annoys her.
What this all boils down to is that "Concrete Canyons" is really just a series of cliches which does nothing new or better than any other movie. But it has appeal especially for those who enjoy the laid back detective work in the "Jesse Stone" movies because it is very similar in style.