On a quiet Saturday, if no one is around to claim the TV for either sportsball or the news, I will helplessly watch Law & Order (SVU, Criminal Intent, or original recipe, I don't care) for as long as TBS, WE, IFC, or anyone else is playing it. It's an awful habit that I can't really explain - I never watched Law & Order before about two years ago, it's a shitty procedural that's frequently based on complete fantasy, and when it's not totally over-the-top fantastic it's totally over-the-top moralistic and I can't help it seriously I've watched for seven hours at a time before. So a few Saturdays ago I was scrolling around seeing if I could catch Stabler and Benson chasing down a bad guy when lo and behold I stumbled upon the worst thing to ever come out of Wolf Films.
Did you know they made a Law & Order movie? IT'S THE WORST. Exiled follows the story of Detective Lenny's Partner in the Early Nineties after he's been banished from the 27th Precinct for punching a City Council Member. Detective Handsome has been banished to Staten Island to chase cats out of trees while Lenny & Co get to solve real crimes. But then a dead prostitute washes up on Detective Jawline's side of the harbor - he has to convince his new chief to let him work the case when they could just hand it back to the NYPD; Det. Pecs gets in a fight with his partner and is assigned to work the case with another detective no one wants to work with because - plot twist - she's a woman! With a vagina and a kid and everything! So Det.s Toxic Masculinity and Boob Haver go to the ME's office and identify the dead prostitute and DUN DUN DUN it turns out she was also a stripper whose twin sister is a ballerina and she was pregnant when she was killed! The ballerina twin sister gets flirty with Det. Eyebrows and lets them know her sister had a pimp named Something Kinda Racist (played by Ice-T before his stint as Finn) - the pimp tells the detectives that the murdered girl was dancing at a club so they go investigate and Det. Slow Down Turbo gets aggressive with the club owner, who happens to know Det. Single Mom from their time in elementary school. Well, it turns out that the 27th has been running surveillance on the club because it's run by the mob.
You get it. This movie was every single crime procedural trope rolled up in one. It wasn't just an extra-long episode of Law & Order, it was the ULTIMATE Law & Order, the Law & Order to end all Law & Orders. And a show that is entertaining enough to watch in a big block is not attractive when viewed in its most concentrated form. This movie was a mess, the actors who are totally competent for an hour-a-week network show don't perform as well in a vehicle with higher production value, and what would make a decent two-episode-arc falls apart as an hour and a half of film.