Jack's First Honor
When sergeant Jack Reed (Brian Dennehy - FX2 - The Deadly Art Of Illusion) arrests a young man for reckless driving and trying to bribe him he has no idea that it is a Senator's son and when he refuses to lose the paper work on request from the Senator as well as his boss Jack finds himself shoved on to nightshifts. It is there that he over hears a woman trying to report her sister missing, the sister is the mother of a child in the class that Jack's wife teaches. When the woman's body is discovered dumped in with some trap and investigation starts which focuses on Dr. Anatole (William Sadler - Die Hard 2) the last person she saw.
"Jack Reed: Badge of Honor" was the first of 5 Jack Reed movies which followed the tradition of focusing on one good guy who in each movie solved a crime. As such each movie whilst giving us the crime for him to solve also developed his character. That is all fine for the sequels but that does mean that "Jack Reed: Badge of Honor" feels and looks like just another good guy cop movie from the 1990's.
As such I have to be honest and say that the crime which Jack Reed found himself investigating was not the most fascinating. That more than anything boils down to it being just another cop movie and so whilst we have this slightly intriguing storyline with things not seeming to be as clear cut as they first appear the fact it is presented in a regular style makes it only so so.
The real strength of "Jack Reed: Badge of Honor" comes down to two pieces of casting with Brian Dennehy doing a good job of playing Jack Reed as a clever cop but one who refuses to break the law like other cops do, refusing to turn a blind eye to things. Dennehy is so at home in this sort of role it becomes very natural and natural makes it easy to warm to the character of Jack. But it is also Susan Ruttan who plays Jack's wife Arlene who makes the movie because the way Ruttan and Dennehy react to each other is again very natural and it is a big reason why there were more movies made as these two are entertaining. Aside from that well William Sadler turns up in a menacing role and some familiar faces such as Udo Kier, Neal McDonough and Alice Krige also appear in small roles
What this all boils down to is that "Jack Reed: Badge of Honor" is for the most just a routine mid 90s cop movie. But the chemistry between Brian Dennehy and Susan Ruttan helps lift it into being something a little more than just a good cop cracking a case.