New York Times - 09/17/1993
"...An enjoyably brisk movie spectacle..."
Sight and Sound - 05/01/1994
"...Relax and enjoy the ride....The city's three rivers provide a dramatic, off-beat backdrop to most of the action..."
Variety - 09/27/1993
"...Herrington does have a flair for action..."
Detective Sgt. Tom Hardy (BRUCE WILLIS) is a maverick cop who has been demoted to "waterdog" -- river patrol -- because he is convinced the department has convicted the wrong man of a score of serial killings, including that of his father. His reputation is on the line as the killings continue--and this time he knows the victims personally. Co-starring Sarah Jessica Parker (SEX IN THE CITY), Dennis Farina (OUT OF SIGHT) and John Mahoney (MOONSTRUCK, TV's FRASIER).
Homicide detective Tom Hardy, a fifth generation Pittsburgh cop, is paying dearly for testifying against his partner (and cousin) Jimmy Detillo in a police brutality case. Since spilling the beans, life has been hell for Hardy, and it gets worse when a serial killer murders his chief of homicide father. To top it all off, he's practically kicked off the force for insisting his father's murderer is a cop. Two years later, Hardy's been demoted to the river rescue squad, and all this trauma has almost driven him to an alcoholic state. The black-sheep of the fraternal force, Hardy receives little encouragement from his team-playing uncle Nick Detillo, who has been promoted to chief since his brother's death. But as the killer's body count gets higher, Tom gets closer and closer to the truth.
Columbia claims that, after reading the script star Bruce Willis responded strongly to the character. He was very interested in the challenges real cops face when they are forced to make all sorts of life-and-death decisions.
Production began in Pittsburgh in June 1992 and continued for 12 weeks, including eight weeks of night shooting and five concurrent weeks of second unit filming with a full crew of 125. Columbia assembled a top notch creative team that included Mac Ahlberg, the director of photography for "Innocent Blood," and skilled production designer Gregg Fonseca, who worked on "Gladiator," and "Honey I Shrunk the Kids." Editors Pasquale Buba and Mark Helfrich of "Nowhere to Run" and "Last Boy Scout" also collaborated on "Striking Distance."
Filmed almost entirely on location in Pittsburgh and in the nearby area, the production turned out much as the director envisioned. The cast and crew spent roughly one-third of their total shooting schedule, 30 days on the rivers to achieve the sharply realist look of the action. The film's flotilla was made up of a raised camera barge that measured 18'x 50', eight aluminum pontoons, each designated to a different department of production, and a speedboat to transport the cast to the set quickly. There were also several picture boats on which filming took place.
Additional cast: Mike Hodge (Don Penderman), Roscoe Orman (Detective Sid McClelland), Ed Hooks (Gunther), Lawrence Mandley (Bailiff), Julianna McCarthy (Judge), Bob the Cat (Himself).
Stunt doubles: Keii Johnson (Bruce Willis) and MIchael S. Walter (Robert Pastorelli).
Additional credits: Pittard/Sullivan/Fitzgerald (title design), Cinema Research Corporation (opticals), Susan Pickett and Frank Falvey (assistant directors), Steve Arnold and Gina Granham (set designers), Jeffrey A. Rubis (hairstylist), Chris Carpenter and Chris David (rerecordists), Robert J. McCaughan (technical adviser).
Ronald Blackwell wrote "Lil' Red Riding Hood," Andy Shaw, Simon Kenny, Paul Disley, Charley Francis co-wrote "Walk Right Now," and Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett co-wrote "Spider's Blues (Might Need It Sometime)" and "Things Happen."
Rated BBFC 18 by the British Board of Film Classification.