Plot: Mike Keegan (Tom Berenger) is a hard working cop and his dedication has paid off, as he has been promoted to detective. This is great news, as he has a family to support and while his wife Ellie (Lorraine Bracco) doesn’t like the risks he has to take, he tries to downplay that side of his work. But even he will have a hard time doing that in his latest assignment, which has him protecting a rich socialite involved in a murder case. Claire (Mimi Rogers) is a woman used to the finer things in life, the kind of lifestyle Mike could only dream about, while the rugged, blue collar Mike represents the kind of man Claire never encounters in her own life. The two start off on rocky grounds, but opposites soon start to attract, despite the circumstances involved. Meanwhile, Mike has to hide not only the dangers of guarding Claire, but also the potential romance that blooms between them, while maintaining his home life. How will this high risk scenario play out, with marriages, justice, and even lives on the line?
Entertainment Value: I have an irrational love for the enthusiastic cake scene in this one, but Someone to Watch Over Me is a rock solid 80s thriller that has a good cast and some stylish visuals. The narrative here is predictable and hits most of the usual genre beats, but come on, no one expected that level of excitement and chatter over the arrival of a cake, right? The magic of that cake sequence aside, this might follow the typical thriller formula, but it is well crafted and even if it telegraphs all of the twists and turns, the entertainment value is there. I wouldn’t call this an erotic thriller, but there is a prominent romance thread and it is well handled, with some light melodrama, but good writing in that regard. So this isn’t forced romance or a novelty to tick a box, instead the movie uses the relationships of the main characters to drive the narrative, to effective ends, no less. Even so, don’t expect an intense, sleaze soaked thriller, as this is more grounded and stylish, as opposed to controversial. I appreciated that the females here aren’t just eye candy or romantic interests, but well written and developed characters with narrative impact. I had fun with this thriller, it might not be a genre classic, but it is well made and worth a look.
I really like the cast of Someone to Watch Over Me, as there is some real talent on showcase here. Tom Berenger has the central role and I always like to see him in action, so I appreciated his performance here. His character is interesting, not at all the typical, seen it all, done it all kind of detective, which is one reason the otherwise predictable narrative doesn’t lessen the experience. He still comes off a tough guy, but that is just Berenger’s usual screen presence and he shows the more vulnerable aspects well, so he does bust out his acting chops a little here. As with most of the performances here, his turn is restrained and natural, which suits the material well, since it takes a more grounded, believable approach. I think Berenger is a reliable performer and that is certainly the case in this one. Another standout is Lorraine Bracco, who makes the most of her scenes and steals a fair share of them to boot. Her performance feels totally natural and she knows just when to ramp up the emotion, especially when it comes time to throw hands. The cast also includes Mimi Rogers, Jerry Orbach, and Andreas Katsulas, while Ridley Scott is in the director’s chair.
The Disc: This 80s thriller hits Blu-ray from Shout Factory as part of their Shout Select line. This transfer looks quite good and as the movie has a dark visual design, that is excellent news. In addition to the dark visual approach, there’s also a lot of smoke, fog, and haze in this one, so it could have gone haywire, but this treatment nails it and fans should be satisfied. The contrast is consistent and stark, with deep blacks and no loss of detail, which is remarkable. A pair of new interviews have been included as extras, with writer Howard Franklin and director of photography Steve Poster on deck. These are fairly in depth pieces, with just under half an hour of content between them, so some good information is passed on.