Pros: some good car chases
Cons: got a little boring half-way through, not exactly original, no character development
In a film straight out of the 1980's (1987 to be exact), No Man's Land took two heart-throbs from the time period and teamed them up in a fast moving film about car thieves. First there is Benjy Taylor, a cop who hasn't been on the job very long; just long enough to earn the trust of his supervisors. That trust has earned him a shot at going undercover to really earn his stripes for the department. His new life isn't going to be an easy one though, putting him into the middle of a ring of car chop-shops that have been stealing cars in the California area to break them down and sell the spare parts. With his background at fixing up old cars, and his particular fascination with Porsche's, it makes him the perfect man for the job.
Benji applies for a job at a high-end mechanics shop, and through his knowledge of cars quickly impresses one of the bosses enough to land a job right in the middle of things. Now he is forced to live the double life of car mechanic by day, and cop reporting to his police supervisor by night. Things really start getting heated, when he crosses paths with one of the young up-and-comers in the business, Ted Varrick, who is from a wealthy family, and though he has money, seems to just be in this world for the kicks of stealing and selling off cars. The thrill of the moments is what has interested Varrick, and the 20-something kid seems like he is in over his head at times. Benji sees this as a way to gain trust in the organization, and soon the pair are teaming up to steal fancy cars.
Now the main attraction to this film in 1987 was of course Charlie Sheen (Ted) and D.B. Sweeney (Benji) as the two leads to the story. They get to trade moments from fast car chases to stealing cars, and even moments of gun-play as they run from those that would stop them. There are several supporting characters that make an appearance, including a sister of Ted's and the police captain that Benji works for, but a majority of the screen-time is given to the two 20-something guys to let them do their thing. There are some moments of excitement in the car chase scenes, but at other times the movie really slows down to try and present a dramatic front of choices for the characters. They don't always make good ones though, and that is what might make the story interesting to some viewers.
I stated earlier that this is a film right out of the mid-80's, and that includes both the score, and the types of high-end cars that are being stolen. They might not appear very cool to people viewing the film now, and it takes away something from the overall feel of "high-end". With Charlie Sheen you know what you are getting on the acting front, and though he could have stretched this character a little further, it is nothing more than a rich guy stealing cars for fun. D.B. Sweeney doesn't do much better on the dramatic side of things, and it never seems like he realizes he is in danger, even though it should be obvious. The story wasn't the strongest, and while the car chases were interesting, they got repetitive after a while, and the car stealing got quite monotonous. If you are looking for that late-night film that you can multi-task while watching this is it; otherwise you aren't missing too much if you don't give it the time.