On the 28th February 1989 undercover DEA agent Everett Hatcher met with drug dealer Gus Farace as part of a sting operation. Things go tragically wrong when first Hatcher's surveillance team lost contact with him and shortly after the meeting Farace drove past Hatcher sitting in his car and shot him in the head repeatedly. The death of Hatcher leads to Farace becoming one of the most wanted men with the FBI doing what ever they can to catch him including putting pressure on mob families to spill their guts on Farace's where abouts. With Farace laying low with friends and with their own business under threat the mob decide that Farace must be killed before the FBI get their hands on him.
"Dead and Alive: The Race for Gus Farace" also known as "Mob Justice" is one of those made for TV movies which retells a true story in this case a true crime. It is not a true story I am familiar with as I don't remember it ever being big news here in the UK. As such I don't know how much poetic license there has been used in turning this story in to a movie and I would imagine that in order for it to work in the confines of 90 minutes changes have had to have been made.
What I will say is that for those who don't know the story the way this plays out is a mixture of interesting and entertaining. We get to see various aspects of the story from Farace trying to lay low, the cops, DEA and FBI working together to try and find him whilst the mob becoming so unsettled by the police pressure that they decide to take matters into their own hands. It moves along swiftly so that it never becomes heavy and whilst not featuring the most imaginative of camera work is solid enough so that it isn't overly static and boring.
Aside from that the only other thing to say is that there are a few recognizable faces in this movie. Tony Danza, Dan Lauria, James Rebhorn and Samuel L. Jackson all have roles in the movie and all do a solid job of playing their characters although none have a truly well written character.
What this all boils down to is that "Dead and Alive: The Race for Gus Farace" is both interesting and entertaining but it is nothing special. All it is is another TV movie which dramatizes a true story in a routine sort of way.