Texas Justice (1995) starring Peter Strauss, Heather Locklear, Dennis Franz, Lewis Smith, Susan Walters, Chris Mulkey, Linda Hart, Ned Vaughn directed by Dick Lowry Movie Review

Texas Justice (1995)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Peter Strauss in Texas Justice (1995)

A Texas Racehorse

Just hours after he buried his father and inherited an equal share of the business and money as his brother, Thomas Cullen Davis (Peter Strauss - A Father's Choice) married the sexy Priscilla (Heather Locklear - City Killer) going on a lavish spending spree as he has their dream home built and furnished. But their marriage sours and much to Cullen's frustration leads to a drawn out divorce case with Priscilla purposefully dragging her feet. That is until one night she returns home with her new boyfriend and is shot whilst her boyfriend and her youngest daughter are killed. Convinced it was Cullen it leads to a court case with Cullen being represented by hotshot lawyer Richard 'Racehorse' Haynes (Dennis Franz - Die Hard 2) who gets him off. But sometime later Cullen finds himself under arrest again having reportedly hired a hitman to kill Priscilla.

"Texas Justice" was originally a two part mini-series which basically means we have what amounts to nearly a 3 hour movie. But "Texas Justice" whilst based on a true story is a good example of the problems with this sort of production as whilst the true story has enough about it to warrant more than just a standard TV movie it is not enough to warrant a 3 hour production. Basically what I am saying is that at 175 minutes "Texas Justice" sadly feels drawn out which leads to periods which frustratingly struggle to keep hold of your attention.

Dennis Franz in Texas Justice (1995)

Now most of these issues come early on as the first hour of "Texas Justice" covers the relationship between Cullen and Priscilla taking us from before they were married when they were having an affair to the destruction of their marriage as Cullen had enough of her ways. It just goes on and on and delivers some of the movies cheesier scenes including the painfully forced early scene of them hooking up in a motel room.

Once it wastes an hour on drawing out the back story "Texas Justice" comes good as we have the first crime and court case. It comes good because we get the arrival of Dennis Franz who plays lawyer Richard 'Racehorse' Haynes and commands your attention with his domination of the courtroom. But it also comes good because it splits you as whilst Priscilla and others say it was Cullen who tried to kill her we are never sure as the killer's identity is kept from us.

But the story goes on after this as we have the element of Cullen ended up arrested for hiring a hitman. And with that we have Dennis Franz again who once more delivers a scene stealing performance as his lawyer. I will leave what happens there but again it gets good because we end up back in the courtroom.

Now "Texas Justice" features good performances from all the cast with Peter Strauss doing a good job of playing against type whilst Heather Locklear is solid and sexy as Priscilla. But as I said it is Dennis Franz who makes the movie and watching him rip to shreds the prosecution, evidence and witnesses in court is what makes the movie tick.

What this all boils down to is that "Texas Justice" is an entertaining dramatization of a true story which originally being a 2 part mini-series benefits from a bigger budget. But it also suffers because the storyline doesn't need to run close to 3 hours and so feels drawn out, especially early on.