Scarecrow 4 August Warning: Spoilers Right before Pretty Woman , Gere played smarmy, womanizing, multi-divorced, prick LA street cop, Dennis Peck, taking money from the likes of pimps and drug-dealers in order to provide for his four wives and nine! Peck likes to spread the seed around. Avilla wants Peck and hopes to get Van to turn on him. Peck not only takes money for prostitution and drugs but also negotiates executions, as is the case with a businessman's parents!
Peck isn't about to not only take money and arrange gangbangers to execute the businessman's parents but feels free to bang the guy's wife as well! When Peck realizes the threat to his livelihood, he makes it a mission to torment Avilla, provoking his jealousy in regards to a wife a smokin' Nancy Travis; I'm telling you, Travis has never been this foxy!
Considering the possible notoriety behind the scenes between Gere and Garcia's inability to get along, their time on screen benefits significantly from the intensity, animosity, and hostility shared between the two characters, Peck and Avilla. Gere fires on all cylinders in this performance, full of swagger and aggression, with a character that would easily dupe you into believing he's on your side, while all the while setting up your execution.
Seemingly no conscience except when with his children or compassion exists in this man, and Peck has built enough bad juju for punishment to visit upon him with violent and swift justice. I like how the film establishes that Avilla's obsessions like getting a cop associated with Peck, Dorian Michael Beach , on Homicide are turning him into Peck.
There's a really volatile scene where Avilla confronts his wife in a restaurant about her possible involvement with Peck that registers off-the-charts; Avilla even smacks her upside the jaw, dropping panties, stolen by Peck from her room, at her face!
Where Internal Affairs feels conventional is in the partner getting hurt and the wife being threatened by the villain. The inevitable showdown doesn't quite match the earlier macho exchanges, eliciting plenty of fireworks, between the opposing cops.
Gere dominates his scenes—every last one of them—while Garcia can stare down those associates of Avilla with a moral compass blazing a trail from his eyes that leaves them really uncomfortable and on edge a great example is the wife of Van, played by Faye Grant, who has a disdain for the IA but cannot look Avilla in the eyes; she had been screwing around with Peck behind Van's back.
Annabella Sciorra has limited involvement in the film as Peck's newest wife, eventually helping Avilla take down her sleazy husband it was either her children or Peck, with few options available to her, as Avilla forces her hand.
Baldwin's demise thanks to Gere is hard to watch because it is coming and Van doesn't have a clue he's about to take a shotgun blast to the chest. Not quite dying, Peck assists with a choke hold strangling the remaining life from him. This, along with the discovery of the parents under the giant Hollywood sign, just illustrates fully how evil he really is. He, at the end, uses his children's welfare as an excuse for all of his activities; Gere's whole purpose is to make us despise his character and in that he succeeds.
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