Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Here is one thing I can tell you for certain, without even watching MTI Entertainment’s little Direct to Video movie ‘Final Move’.  Being that this is a thriller based on chess and the villain has Los Angeles setup as a chessboard grid forcing our heroes to guess his next move, like Black Knight to White Bishop 7 and such, I know that when the hero eventually figures it all out and kills the bad guy in the end he’s gonna say ‘Checkmate!’.  I know this!  It’s like I’m psychic or something!

Lochlyn Munro is police Detective Krieg who is on the case on the of the chess piece serial killer.  Just so you know Munro is still the possessor of one the best lines in bad movie history when in the film ‘Dead Man on Campus’ he’s riding in a car that is fleeing from the police along that dude Zack from ‘Saved by the Bell’.  Murno pulls out a gun, turns to Zack and tells him ‘They really hate it when you do this’ and then leans out the car windows and commences firing at the pursuing cops.  That’s some funny stuff right there.  Anyway, there’s this killer bopping around Los Angeles bumping off criminals who get off on technicalities and stuff, and the killer is also offing the lawyers who gets the scum off.  The problem is that they thought they actually put the Chess Piece Killer away when they gave him the electric chair a couple of weeks ago.  Oh well.  It seems that they put that first dude away based on the identification of a psychic cop named Dan Marlowe (Matt Schulze) who was able to ‘psychically’ identify the killer.  Now from what I could tell, the only evidence they had on this guy is the psychic identification of this so-called psychic cop, and based on this piece of solid evidence dude gets the electric chair?  I know the California judicial system is a little screwed up, but damn.

Psychic cop Dan isn’t quite right though as he’s been tucked away in the looney bin since he cracked the original case as it made him go crazy.  But his ex-partner Krieg doesn’t give a damn about any of that and has him released so he can go crazy some more and help him crack this new case.  Former supermodel Rachel Hunter shows up as an FBI agent who Dan apparently had a relationship with at one time.  If you’re curious, the sum of Ms. Hunters’ talents appear to be that she is tall, busty, blonde, and good looking with a cute accent.  And there ain’t a damn thing wrong with those limitations.  David Carradine also makes a glorified cameo as the police chief and performed his rather brief role with all of the enthusiasm of a man waiting on a root canal.  So this new killer is taunting our psychic serial killer hunter with the massive headaches, making him go even crazier and putting serious stress on his wife (the terminally cute Amanda Detmer) and his sick diabetic daughter.  Will psychic cop Dan stop the destruction before the killer kills again, and will he get the chance to say ‘checkmate’ at the end?

‘Final Move’ faded between scenes that were okay, and scenes that were simply terrible.  There were times were director Joey Travolta seemed to forget everything he learned from whatever film training academy he may have gone to on framing and composition of a scene.  But there were other times, particularly in the action scenes, that the shots were pretty decent and well done.  The C-list cast (mind you, I don’t have a problem with C-listers since I’m basically a Z-list film critic) did the best they could with the overly clichéd script they were saddled with.  Matt Schulze is one of the most glorious over-actors in the business today and I enjoy watching him do his thing in just about anything.  ‘Torque’ people.  If you want to see the penultimate Matt Schulze performance, just rent a copy of ‘Torque’ and you will see the man at his overacting best.  Also of note is veteran actor Tucker Smallwood as the sage homeless chess player who provides a good turn. 

‘Final Move’ is actually a fairly poor film all the way around, but it is not without its entertainment value.  The cast is solid one, with the exception of David Carradine who had a tee time he had to get to, the story was clichéd and the shooting style was amateurish in some spots.  But some of the action scenes were solid and Matt Schulze is as glorious of an over actor as it gets.  There was also an extremely gratuitous nude scene tossed in, and who can be mad at that.  In short, watching ‘Final Move’ didn’t totally piss me off, and sometimes that’s just enough.  CHECKMATE!

Real Time Web