Mad City
PG-13
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -1 1/2

Max Brackett ( Dustin Hoffman) was one of the network's best investigative reporters. Aggressive, tireless and intelligent, he was an expert at getting the story first. But when he had an on-air meltdown with veteran network anchor Kevin Hollander (ALAN ALDA), Max found himself tracking down stories in tiny Madeline, California. Sam Baily (John Travolta) grew up in Madeline, and has recently lost his job as security guard at the museum. He needs his job back in order to provide for his wife and two babies. Max visits the museum on just another ho-hum news item. Then, suddenly, Sam shows up and pulls a gun. All Sam wants is his job back, but Max sees it as an opportunity to get back into the big leagues of network journalism. It's an unpredictable ride to the finish as Sam and Max spin in the middle of the increasing volatile storm of events. MAD CITY will certainly draw healthy crowds at the box-office with its two leading men Hoffman and Travolta. But even these two heavy hitters can't save this story which fails to develop into a satisfying climax.

The movie ultimately makes the right statement -- that journalists shouldn't exploit tragedy for their own glory or their networks ratings. But Max teeters on the fence between glory and integrity the whole movie before he falls on the right side. Unfortunately Sam has to die in order for him to make that conclusion. Sadly, MAD CITY falls on the wrong side of the fence when it comes to language. Eleven crude words and five obscenities mar the dialogue, and the Lord's name is taken in vain seven times. Some violence occurs in the form of gun threats and an accidental shooting, but none of it is excessive or gory. One particularly offensive scene involves Max standing at a urinal having a discussion with his sex organ. In that scene he reveals his desire for a young female intern who's on location with him. In another scene, Max scolds the intern for dropping her camera to help a shooting victim. In the end, viewers will be better off by not visiting the MAD CITY.

Preview Reviewer: Jason Shepherd
Distributor: Warner Brothers, 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

Summary
Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 4, Moderate 7
Obscene Language: Several (7) times - s-word 3; f-word 2; other 2
Profanity: Several (7) times - All regular (J/C 5, GD 1, For God's sake 1)
Violence: Several times - Moderate (Man threatens with shot gun; man accidentally shoots guard with shot gun; man ignites dynamite--one death implied)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Once (Man holds conversation with his sex organ while urinating; comments that he's interested in young female intern).
Drug Abuse: None (man refers to drinking beer)
Other: Newsman lectures intern that it is more important to film a gun shot victim than to help the victim.
Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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