At Risk

Did You Know?

Author Patricia Cornwell plays a small role in both At Risk and The Front. Can you find her?

Lifetime has the honor of being the first to bring multi-award winning novelist Patricia Cornwell’s novels to life on the small screen, not once but twice, as they unveil At Risk and The Front, based on Cornwell’s successful Win Garano books. Casting includes Andie McDowell (Four Weddings and A Funeral), Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me), Ashley Williams (Good Morning, Miami), Diahaan Carol (Grey’s Anatomy), and Annabeth Gish (Brotherhood).

Monique “Money” Lamont (McDowell), District Attorney willing to do anything to place herself in the Governor’s Mansion, opens a cold case 20 years old and sends Massachusetts State Police rising star Win Garano (Sunjata) to solve it. Of course there’s an angle that could have only been thought up by a politician but as Garano comes closer to solving the case he finds its facts and findings bleeding more and more into his own life as well as Lamont’s. Can Garano solve the case or will it ultimately destroy the people around him and himself?

Andie McDowell does a fabulous job portraying the poisonous D.A. Monique Lamont, a cold hearted schemer whose willing to sink to any low to project herself towards her goal of becoming the next Governor. Its one of those performances that is so great you find yourself actually emoting true hatred for a fictitious character. When an actor or actress can draw that kind of emotion out of you its then you know what you’ve witnessed is phenomenal writing and even better delivery by said actor or actress. Daniel Sunjata does well in his part though its easy to see that a majority of his presence leans more towards the physical. He’s a tall guy, voted one of the Sexiest Stars on TV by TV guide and one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine. Still, Sunjata manages to surpass his role as eye candy for the ladies delivering a great performance coming into his own as a character as well as managing great chemistry with almost all of his co-stars.

Mind you this is a made for television movie and as such the genre has never been one to supply its viewers with outlandish cinema experiences that rival the blockbuster big screen films. You’ve got a variety of locations to keep the experience fresh, a lot of characters (maybe to many), and a story that slowly but surely reaches its peak. At first my review was going to be about how At Risk spent to much time on back story and how it effects the films big reveal due to the 90 minute run time being to crowded with introduction but as I sat back in my desk chair and thought long and hard about what I saw everything just connected. Writer John Pielmeier does a decent job bringing Cornwell’s novel to life. Sure the characters are clichéd and some of the dialogue is a bit corny (no pun intended) but as a whole the film comes together coherently enough despite the still unnerving fact that there is a bit of back story that could have been cut to make more room for suspense. Oh, and how is it that most of the film takes place in Boston and there’s not one character in the entire run that has a Boston accent. Tsk tsk. Overall a decent suspense thriller that could be better but manages to capture the spirit of what its trying to do.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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