Picks and Pans Review: In the Line of Duty: a Cop for the Killing

updated 11/26/1990 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/26/1990 01:00AM

NBC (Sun, Nov. 25, 9 P.M. ET)

C

Two seasons ago, NBC aired In the Line of Duty: The FBI Murders, starring Michael Gross and David Soul. It was a disturbingly violent dramatization of an actual law-enforcement incident. As you might have surmised from the title, this marks a return for the network to similar grounds with another savage case study.

After a cop (Charles Haid) is brutally gunned down in a drug bust, his partner (Stephen Weber of Wings) goes off the deep end, drinking too much, spewing out rage and aggressively flirting with death. His behavior puts the rest of his elite team (James Farentino, Susan Walters, Harold Sylvester) in jeopardy.

Weber doesn't belong in narcotics. He should be in the bomb squad. His character goes off like a fragmentation grenade. It's a powerful if somewhat precious performance, but—with the exception of Haid, who is bumped off too early to count—the only even halfway convincing one in the show. The unconvincing acting undermines the movie's realistic intent.

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