Target Number One

"Target Number One boasts some incredible performances from Hartnett, Pilon, and Gaffigan." - Film Threat

Josh Hartnett stars as a crusading journalist in this true crime story from 1989

"'Inspired by actual events' is not a phrase often associated with Canadian crime in the movies, but it does happen. There was 2011’s Edwin Boyd about the 1940s Toronto bank robber, and 1982’s The Grey Fox, about train robber Bill Miner, a.k.a. The Grey Fox, a.k.a. The Gentleman Bandit.

"Aliases seem to be the common factor in such movies, and Target Number One is no exception. Victor Malarek is the real name of the Globe & Mail investigative journalist who helped crack the 1989 case in which Alain Olivier --aka 'Daniel Leger'-- a junkie, was set up by Canadian police to take part in a drug deal in Thailand that wound up sending him to prison there for 100 years.

"In Quebec filmmaker Daniel Roby’s film, Malarek is played by Josh Hartnett. Leger is played by Montreal actor Antoine Olivier Pilon with an appealing mix of bravado and nervousness. And Frank Cooper, the RCMP officer at the centre of the sting, is played by Stephen McHattie, Canada’s go-to guy for creepy menace.

"Roby’s script finds 'Leger' knocking about and broke after a stint of tree planting. He runs into Picker, a jack-of-all-(illegal)-trades who operates a fishing charter and also dabbles in guns and drugs. Picker is being pressured by McHattie’s slimy cop to deliver a high-level drug dealer to make the force look good, and he decides to set up the unwitting Leger as just that.

"Target Number One is a crafty crime thriller, a rough-and-ready Heritage Minute given room to bloom into something worthy of its feature length. Run it up the flagpole, I say." - National Post


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