When you're dealing with a first-time director whose only other Hollywood credits are for writing a really lame pair of Wesley Snipes movies, you walk in skeptical yet hopeful, perhaps even actively rooting for the filmmaker to make a leap forward with his directorial debut. Well, Wayne Beach pulled it off. The good news is that Slow Burn is indeed a better film than both Murder at 1600 and The Art of War. The bad news is that it's only marginally better than those flicks, and they both stunk.
A late-arriving and barely warmed-up retread of The Usual Suspects, Slow Burn is eleven flavors of cliche, convention and stereotype in one 93-minute chore of a movie. If this cable-level yawner of a flick has even one remotely new or unique idea, I'm guessing it must be buried in the end credits somewhere. (I left before they were over.) To his credit, Mr. Beach has cobbled together a pretty solid ensemble for a movie of this caliber, and there are just enough good lines and interesting scenes to fill a two-minute theatrical trailer ... but ultimately Slow Burn is as tiresome as it is beholden to a dozen (much better) crime stories.