Crooked cops, crooked crooks, and a secret weapon that could imperil the American way of lifeall riding the impossibly congested roads between San Diego and Tijuana. Sgt. Tommy Donahoo (Balboa Firefly, 1994, not reviewed), taking a break from a late-night stakeout, misses the execution that his partner, Investigator Chip Lyons, captures on videotapebut it's Lyons who misses the ensuing fireworks when he's killed himself in a shootout. Lyons's colleagues at the San Diego Police Department, preparing to give the dead hotshot a hero's sendoff, don't know that Lyons, claiming Donahoo's complicity, had offered villainous Nick Quillan the video for a $1 million payoff. And the first time Quillan phones Donahoo to offer him half a million, Donahoo blithely blows him off, making Quillan and his triggerman, Jimmy Taylor, think that Lyons's partner must be one tough hombre. As Quillan and Taylor move ahead with their plot to divert a donated heart from its intended recipient to a poor medical risk who's rich in other ways, they try to figure out how they can get something on Donahoo to trade for the tape. Quillan plans to kidnap Donahoo's unacknowledged dad, Father Charlie Donahoo, from the hospital where he's dying, but then decides rather endearingly that the old man is too sick and senile to be a worthwhile trade. Meanwhile, Donahoo is drawing a bead on both Lyons's sultry mistress, Rosie Gestring, and a device called the XLA-BMGS, and determined that whatever it is, Quillan and Taylor are after it. After a few more funny, nasty set-piecesQuillan and Taylor recruit the world's most innocent hijacking team; Donahoo and Rosie take turns bad- mouthing Lyons against a background of his inflated eulogyit's time for the bad guys to grab the heroine and for the hero to face the usual agonizing choice between the fate of the free world and the woman he loves. Moody riffs on a familiar strain, with a slam-bang finale.
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