Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

True Identity

True Identity
Lenny Henry, Frank Langella, Charles Lane and AnneMarie Johnson

Rated: R for language
Reviewed by: Frank and Chris  
Release date: August 23, 1991

Miles Pope (Lenny Henry) plays a black bit actor who has the misfortune of sitting next to Leland Carver (Frank Langella) on a flight to New York - which nearly crashes. During the few minutes when the passengers believe they will die, Carver confesses to Miles that he is really an underworld leader who has changed his facial features and faked his death to escape the FBI. When the plane lands safely, Miles is pursued by numbers of killers sent by Carver to kill the only person who knows who he is. No law enforcement units believe Miles' assertions and so he is forced to cover his appearance with the help of Duane (Charles Lane), an FX specialist. Duane paints Miles white.

The body of the film is spent with Miles attempting to convince the police that Carve is the man they seek and attempting to duck the hit men sent to get him. There is not much new in the situations he finds himself in, but the film does bring the audience some laughs as Miles imitates an Italian underworld soldier and a streetwise b lack kid.

The film also steps away from the typical black role on the screen. Lenny Henry shows a range of acting skills and he plays a young ambitious actor who works hard at his craft. The girl in his life (AnneMarie Johnson) is an attractive professional interior decorator. Charles Lane is a bright technical young man who likes very large women.

There is little of the standard ethic jokes and insults which could easily fit into the plot. Rather the comedy comes from the eccentricity of the characters and the situations. This is a pleasant summer diversion.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
True Identity  B   B                     B 

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