Policing the Officers
Detective Kathryn Shaunessy (Sherilyn Fenn) and Detective Gary Hill (Jerry Kroll) are dealing with a series of murders with known drug dealers ending up victims of seemingly one brutal killer. What they don't know is that LAPD commissioner Donald Hallows (Ted Shackelford) and Captain Raymond Taggart (Larry Drake) have put together a group of over zealous cops to work as a vigilante cell who are behind these killings, with Officer Philip Hallows (Casper Van Dien), the commissioner's own unhinged son, being in charge of them. But when Kathryn gets a call from one of the group who feels bad about what is going on it leads to her not only ending up in danger but her family as well.
Some movies end up like a partnership and depending on how much you put into it as the audience affects how much you get out ot it. "Officer Down" is one of those movies as taken on face value I could list many of the issues which tend to plague made for TV crime movies such as scenes of a character's home life which ends up nothing more than filler whilst at times some of the actors end up forcing things as their characters are not well written. Then there is the dialogue and yes this features the sort of smart dialogue which often doesn't ring true and is to on the nose when it comes to making a point or sounding clever.
But look beyond the usual issues and "Officer Down" has some nice ideas with this vigilante hit squad put together by the Commissioner who is tired of being unable to clear up the streets acting within the law. Much of why this works because of Casper Van Dien making Officer Hallows a dangerous and psychotic young man who takes matters into his own hands, killing any cop who threatens to expose what is going on and doesn't live up to his expectations. But we also have the element of who can Kathryn trust when the lines have become blurred and even forced to do things herself which bend the rules in order to find out who is involved in this vigilante group. And you do need to read between the lines and ignore the flaws to really appreciate that there is a smart story here with some nice action even if that feels little more than routine for a TV movie.
What this all boils down to is that "Officer Down" is one of those movies which is best classed as having potential with some nice ideas put into the story. But at the same time it is a made for TV movie with the sort of issues which you need to look beyond to appreciate those ideas in the storyline.