Even though he’s handily avenged the murder of his brother, Mobile lawyer Tom McInnes (Sins of the Brother, 1999) just can’t stay out of trouble. A late-night call from his friend Susan Fitzsimmons takes him to Florida’s St. George Island, where Carli Monroe, a runaway teenager Susan’s taken in, has witnessed an execution in a nearby house. Next morning, when Tom takes Appalachicola deputy Mickey Burns out to the house to investigate, they find nothing but a pair of close-mouthed painters methodically putting the finishing touches on a redecorating job. Frustrated, Tom calls his shamus pal Joey the giant into the case to help identify the killer and the victim, but he’s already too late: The killer, former football great Leroy Purcell, is moving with all due speed against Carli and Susan, and he’s backed by an army of even badder dudes Tom and Joe trace to nearby Dog Island. As everybody from peaceful shrimpers to aspiring druglords to illegal-immigrant smugglers to abusive parents to Cuban freedom fighters muscles onto the overcrowded and underpoliced island, the chivalrous Travis McGee premise (“This is not why I went to law school,” muses Tom in a rare moment of reflection) explodes into nonstop action, though most of the action boils down to the good guys getting wounded and the bad guys getting killed in waves, like ducks in a shooting gallery.
Though Stewart doesn’t re-create anything like the range or freshness of his sharp debut, all is not lost: He’s got the makings of an obvious summer movie.