We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
To review a movie like "Off Limits," you have to move beyond your immediate reaction to the actual craft of the film and reach down inside to ask yourself why you go to the movies at all. The reason for that question is because "Off Limits" is a well-crafted movie, but I cannot think why anyone would want to see it.
It is grimness without redemption, violence without mercy, and it lacks even the cheap cynicism that makes some Hollywood potboilers watchable. I do not object to grim and violent movies - only to those that seem to have no other purpose for being, except to provide employment.
The movie stars Gregory Hines and Willem Dafoe as plainclothes military police in Saigon during the Vietnam War. They are, that is, as plainclothes as two American civilians in a Detroit car would ever be in Saigon. They go to investigate the brutal murder of a prostitute, and in the course of their investigation they learn the murder is one in a series, that there might be some kind of weirdo who specializes in this crime. Then they begin to suspect that attempts are being made to close the case, to cover up the connections, to protect a high-ranking American official who may be the murderer.
The bulk of the movie is a straightforward police procedural. We follow and observe as the two cops use standard police methods to track down leads, question witnesses, and put two and two together.