Smoke Goes Nowhere
Britt Shelley (Jaime Pressly - Beauty & the Briefcase) wakes up in bed with no idea how she ended up there and the worst things is that the guy next to her, hero cop Jay (Martin Cummins - Live Once, Die Twice), is dead. With the police expectedly focussing their investigation on Britt she tries to make sense of things which start with when Britt covered Jay's heroism some years earlier which in turn lead to fellow cop, Raley Gannon's (Currie Graham - By Appointment Only), career going up in smoke, something he partially blames Britt for. But things take a turn for the strange when Raley kidnaps Britt and tells her exactly what happened all those years earlier when he woke up in bed next to the attractive Suzi (Marie Avgeropoulos - Fugitive at 17), oblivious to how he got there and dealing with the fact she is dead.
Ignore the cast for a minute and focus on the story and "Smoke Screen" is quite typical as we have an innocent woman who finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation and believing she is being set up for the murder of a cop. In anyone's book that is quite typical as is how the plot to "Smoke Screen" evolves with the woman, who just happens to be an investigative reporter, learning that a man whose career was ruined because of a crime story she reported on some years earlier is in fact not guilty as she had thought back then. Not only that but it seemed he was set up in the same way that she has been set up. All well and good and director Gary Yates does a nice job of delivering this with some decent styling but it is all too familiar right down to that hint of romance which starts to form between the main characters.
The trouble with "Smoke Screen" is whilst it has a decent cast and is nicely directed with Gary Yates giving it a lot more visual finesse that you would normally get in a typical TV movie it has story issues. From familiarity to being contrived it just doesn't grip you by what is going on and you are left waiting for something good to happen, something you haven't seen before in another movie and is believable rather than far fetched, which is the case here.
What this all boils down to is that "Smoke Screen" whilst having more style than you normally get in a TV movie, and also starring Jaime Pressly, is still just another TV movie with a general sense of familiarity to what goes on.