Picks and Pans Review: No Man's Land

updated 11/16/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/16/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

Mostly a series of car chases and party scenes, this cops-and-crooks film takes occasional breaks to ponder serious moral questions. Concentrate on the car chases. They involve D.B. (Gardens of Stone) Sweeney, as a rookie cop working undercover in a car theft operation, and Charlie (Platoon) Sheen as a young car dealer who heads the auto thievery ring. As the two become friends—Sweeney even takes up with Sheen's sister, wanly played by model Lara Harris—moral ambiguity rears its head. Sweeney becomes so enamored of fast cars and big money that he begins to question whether it's right for him to lie about his identity. The underlying notion seems to be that there's nothing wrong with stealing cars—at least not expensive West German sports cars. Sweeney and Sheen strike up a convincing buddy-buddy chemistry, and Randy Quaid, as Sweeney's boss, knows how to get righteously indignant. The events are preposterous, though. The out-of-control chases and shoot-outs seem to be taken for granted. The director is Peter Werner, whose main experience has been in television (Family, Hometown) and the writer is Dick Wolf, a veteran of Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice. Any resemblance to a reasonably spiffy TV cop series is hardly coincidental. (R)

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