Sissy Spacek and the others put on fine performances in this cheap production from a maudlin and unbelievable script. The husband of a cop-killer's sweetheart is able to visit the convict on death row the night before the execution? Give me a break! Sissy doesn't buy her ex-boyfriend's guilt, but does nothing to try to right such a terrible situation? Please. The real problem, though is that this made-for-tv formula flick is another example of Hollywood's trampling of the image of Vietnam veterans. The "damaged-vet-ticking-time-bomb" stereotype is not only an easy cliché, it's also a gross overstatement of the facts. No denying some veterans of Vietnam -- as of all wars -- suffered psychological effects, but when has Hollywood portrayed the 'Nam veteran as anything but a broken, emotionally troubled pariah? Movies like "Beyond the Call" contribute to the general public perception that Vietnam veterans are on the whole dysfunctional -- suicidal, alcoholic, barely able to hang on to their sanity. It's not enough that the cop-killer is a damaged Viet vet but -- surprise, surprise -- Sissy's own husband (the only character who doubts the boyfriends "Vietnam-made-him-do-it" excuse) carries his own war demons. The movie closes with Hubby curled up on the floor, crying his eyes out, comforted by Sissy the Strong. Another ticking time bomb has exploded. I guess all of us Vietnam veterans will eventually have nervous breakdowns or take refuge in a bottle. Me, I think I'll have a drink.
Beyond the Call
Beyond the Call
Russell Gates is a Vietnam vet on death row for killing a policeman. His childhood sweetheart, Pam O'Brien, is stunned to learn this and does not believe he could commit such a crime. She ...
October 12, 2020