Breaking Point -- Film Review

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From its generic title to its overly familiar plot line to its B-list cast, "Breaking Point" has the feel of a late-night entry on Cinemax, which no doubt will be its fate sooner rather than later.

This tired tale of disgraced lawyer attempting to achieve personal and professional redemption should score mild urban business thanks to the presence of rap stars Busta Rhymes and Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones, but even their fans are more likely to catch it on DVD.

Tom Berenger plays the central role of Steven Luisi, a former prominent defense attorney brought down by personal tragedy and drug addiction. But he's spurred back into action when he stumbles onto a high-profile murder case and tries to bring down his former dealer, a murderous gangster (Rhymes) who, as we see in the arresting opening scene, has no qualms about throwing an uncooperative hooker's infant baby out a window to his certain death.

Berenger uses his weathered visage and trademark intensity to good effect, but his efforts are undercut by the overwhelmingly cliched script, which, like Michael Douglas' recent, misbegotten "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt," involves a corrupt district attorney (Armand Assante).

Director Jeff Celentano infuses the proceedings with the requisite grittiness, if not much freshness, but he has elicited a strong performance from Rhymes, who is more than convincing as the ruthless, hard-swearing hood.

Opened: Friday, Dec. 4 (Cinema Epoch)
Production: Barnholtz Entertainment
Cast: Tom Berenger, Busta Rhymes, Armand Assante, Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones, Frankie Faison, Musetta Vander
Director: Jeff Celentano
Screenwriter: Vince Campanella
Producers: Jay Webb, Robert Capalli Jr., Vince Campanella
Executive producers: Julian Pliszka, Michael Tadross Jr., Marc Bikidou, Andrea Cardinalli
Director of photography: Emmanuel Vouniozos
Editors: Douglas Crise, Ryan Folsey
Production designer: Gwendoly Witkin
Costume designer: Mikaela Wohl
Music: Pinar Toprak
Rated R, 97 minutes
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