On her first night on the job, rookie cop Megan Turner (Jamie Lee Curtis) blows away a robber (Tom Sizemore) who was holding up a convenience store. The robber was holding a gun when he was shot but, right after his body hits the ground, the gun is stolen by a stockbroker named Eugene Hunt (Ron Silver). Somehow, no one notices Eugene grabbing the gun from the floor and he improbably gets away from the crime scene without any of the investigating officers noticing that he’s concealing a gun in his suit.
Because Eugene stole the gun, Megan is accused of shooting an unarmed man and she is suspended from the force. Meanwhile, Eugene becomes obsessed with the gun, hears voices, and starts to shoot random people. He even carves Megan’s name on one of the bullets. When the bullet is found in the body of one of Eugene’s targets, Megan becomes the number one suspect even though it wouldn’t make any sense for a murderer to carve their name on the evidence. This isn’t The Wire. None of the dead are going to be found with a note in their hand that says, “Tater Killed Me.” It should be obvious to everyone that Megan is being set up but instead, everyone just assumes Megan is a stupid murderer who doesn’t know how to cover her tracks. Eugene also starts to date Megan but when Megan rejects him after he confesses to being the murderer, Eugene starts to stalk her and her friends. Not even Megan’s new boyfriend (Clancy Brown) can keep her safe from a stockbroker with a grudge.
Blue Steel benefits from Kathryn Bigelow’s stylish direction and Jamie Lee Curtis’s dedicated performance but it suffers because Eugene is so obviously crazy from the get go that it never makes sense that he would be able to get away with his crimes for as long as he does. Even after Megan realizes that Eugene is crazy, she can’t get anyone to believe her even though everything about Eugene suggests that he’s the murderer. Not even confessing to the crime is enough to keep Eugene in prison. Somehow, Eugene is able to commit multiple murders and attempted murders right in front of Megan and then escape before Megan or anyone else can even react. Megan’s been trained at the Police Academy while Eugene has no criminal training whatsoever but he’s still always able to outthink and outrun her. It makes it seem as if Megan just isn’t a very good cop. Luckily, Bigelow, Curtis, Silver, and Clancy Brown would all be involved with better movies in the future.