In the Line of Duty: The Price of Vengeance (1994, directed by Dick Lowry)


Johnnie Moore (Brent Jennings) is a former limo driver turned criminal mastermind.  The members of his gang look up to him with cult-like admiration.  On his orders, they have been robbing businesses all over town.  Johnnie says that he is a man of God but he has no hesitation when it comes to ordering his men to threaten and sometimes kill any witnesses.  When Detective Tom Williams (Michael Gross) comes to close to finally convincing someone to testify against the gang, Moore orders his assassination.  When the members of his gang fail to get the job done because none of them want to shoot Tom when his family is around, Johnnie does it himself by dressing up as a clown and gunning Tom down in front of Tom’s son.  That was Johnnie’s biggest mistake because now, he’s got Tom’s best friend, Detective Jack Lowe (Dean Stockwell), after him.

After Street Wars, NBC’s next two In The Line of Duty films both focused on FBI sieges.  Both The Siege at Marion and Ambush in Waco featured true stories of the FBI trying to arrest religious fanatics and having to wait out a stand-off.  Ambush in Waco was controversial because it was not only based on the Branch Davidian stand-off but it was actually filmed while the stand-off was still going on.  Perhaps because of the controversy, The Price of Vengeance tells a much simpler and less exploitive story.  Johnnie Moore is a criminal who kills a cop.  Jack Lowe makes it his mission to put him away.  There’s no risk of anyone watching siding with Johnnie Moore like they may have done with David Koresh while watching Ambush in Waco.  Moore kills a man in front of his son and then laughs about it.  Everyone watching is going to want to see him get punished and they are going to cheer on the efforts of law enforcement to make sure the punishment fits the crime.

The Price of Vengeance is a typical police procedural but it has a good cast.  After playing a killer in the first In The Line of Duty movie and the lead FBI man in the third one, Michael Gross is cast as the victim here and he’s so likable that you’ll be angered when he gets gunned down.  Dean Stockwell brings his no-nonsense, down-to-Earth style to the role of Gross’s best friend and Brent Jennings is smug and evil as Johnnie Moore.  Mary Kay Place, Kathleen Robertson, and Justin Garms play the members of Gross’s family and they all do a good job of showing the trauma that they’ve suffered as a result of his murder.  Keep an eye out for Courtney Gains, playing a member of Moore’s criminal crew.  Gains played this same character in a dozen different films.  If you see Courtney Gains in a movie, look out because he’s up to no good!

The Price of Vengeance is a standard 90s cop show.  Nothing about it will take you by surprise but it’s partially redeemed by its cast.

One response to “In the Line of Duty: The Price of Vengeance (1994, directed by Dick Lowry)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 8/8/22 — 8/14/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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