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Movie Review

Murder at 1600

Reviewed by: Cheryl Sneeringer
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
17 to Adult
Genre:
Mystery/Suspense
Length:
106 min.
Year of Release:
1997
R

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Diane Lane, Alan Alda, Daniel Benzali | Director: Dwight Little | Released by: Warner Bros.

Late in the evening, the body of a young woman is discovered in a lavatory in the White House. When D.C. homicide detective Harlan Regis (Wesley Snipes) arrives to investigate, he finds that the Secret Service has already confiscated all the evidence. It is clear that he has been called in to the investigation just for appearances' sake. In reality, the Secret Service plans to do whatever it takes to deflect suspicion from members of the First Family, and to offer any remotely plausible scapegoat so that the case may be speedily resolved. A suspect is arrested on the flimsiest evidence and the investigative portion of the case is declared to be closed.

Detective Regis refuses to be set aside, however, and he continues his investigation of the case, hampered only slightly by the fact that he is being tailed, wiretapped, and overheard by sophisticated electronic surveillance. Regis finds an ally in Secret Service Agent Nina Chance (Diane Lane), who at first impedes his investigation, but finally realizes that there is injustice in framing an innocent man. In the course of their efforts to solve the murder, there are several fist fights, shootouts, and chase sequences.

The movie is fast-paced and suspenseful enough to hold your interest from beginning to end, but I can’t give it a high recommendation because by the second half of the film, the plot had become hopelessly complex, convoluted, and lacking in credibility. I found that the more I reflected on this movie, the more awkward and unbelievable it became.

The film contains a brief but explicit sex scene in the opening minutes of the movie, and two scenes that include female nudity. I noticed only one use of profanity. The intensity and violence in the movie (as well as the sex scene) make it unsuitable for children and young teenagers.

Viewer Comments
In 75 words or less… BORING!!! …It was so boring that I didn’t even pay attention to it…
—Chris Utley, age 24
There is brief nudity that could have been omitted and still gotten the point across. Alan Aldon is the villain of the movie and it is funny that the plot deals with North Korea. Since he was one of the stars of M.A.S.H. that was in the Korean war. His script is very trite and you can see through his logic. The use of the monitor tapes is lost until the end of the movie. Yet should have been there at the very first. Weak logic again. Very gripping all the same. We all enjoyed it.
—Henry Steinhauer, age 47
“Murder at 1600” is pretty good for those who love mystery/suspense. For those who struggle with lust, though, try to come in 5 minutes late. The makers of this movie could have left out the sex scene at the beginning. A kissing scene should have been the alternative. It is pretty bloody too, so if this doesn’t bother you adults, then see it. If so, don’t bother…
—Miller Nguyen, age 21