Detective Deitz is still an intense New Yorker struggling to fit in with the laid back California lifestyle. Watching a Relentless film, you would think that it’s a crime to be laid back in New York. After three films, Deitz should no longer be as much of a fish out of water as he is in Relentless 3.
Deitz is now divorced and he hardly ever sees his son. That bothers him but also means that there aren’t anymore arguments between Deitz and his wife about him bringing his work home. Deitz is now out on the dating scene. The movie spends a lot of time on scenes of Deitz trying to pick up women. It’s not easy because he’s an intense New Yorker and they’re all laid back California girls. He eventually meets and falls for Paula (Signy Coleman).
Meanwhile, there’s a new serial killer on the scene. Walter (William Forsythe) lives with a mentally unstable woman and is always bragging about how he’s a star. He picks up women in bars, take them home, kills them, and then has sex with their dead bodies before eventually dumping them around Los Angeles. Even though Deitz no longer wants to chase serial killers, he agrees to serve as a consultant. When Walter finds out that the famous Sam Deitz is working the case, he decides to make it personal. Being a “star,” Walter wants to compete with the best.
Relentless 3 gets off to a good start but it runs out of gas quickly. William Forsythe is an effective villain and some of the early scenes of him picking up women are suspenseful. Also, there’s an effective scene where Walter mails Deitz a patch of tattooed skin and proves, as if there was any doubt, that Walter was one sick puppy. But the movie, which should be a relentless cat-and-mouse game between Deitz and Walter, gets sidetracked with all of the scenes of Deitz trying to get back into the dating scene. For all the build-up, the final confrontation between Deitz and Walter feels like a let down. This Relentless film just isn’t relentless enough.
Leo Rossi still does a good job as Deitz but it seems like we learned as much as we need to know about the character during the first two Relentless films and nothing that Deitz does surprises us anymore. Despite good performances from Rossi and Forsythe, Relentless 3 never comes together.