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He's a special effects man from Australia. He's a New York detective who specializes in pissing people off. Together, They Fight Crime!
No, wait. That was the second movie.
FX: Murder by Illusion is a 1986 movie starring Brian Brown and Brian Dennehy, about a movie special effects man, Rollie Tyler (Brown), who gets dragged into the criminal underworld when he is hired by the F.B.I.'s witness protection program to fake the death of a notorious mob boss.
The F/X shoot goes awry, and now it looks like Rollie - through criminal negligence or deliberately - is responsible for the death of the man whose death he was supposed to fake.
While Rollie frantically tries to figure out what went wrong, NYPD Detective Leo McCarthy (Dennehy) is investigating the same murder, and increasingly frustrated that the FBI is being less helpful than usual.
Not to be confused with FX, the Fox Entertainment owned cable channel.
The movie was followed up in 1991 with F/X 2: The Deadly Art of Illusion, in which Rollie, now retired from special effects, is asked by his girlfriend's ex-husband to help him catch a killer. When the ex-husband and killer are both killed by an unknown assailant, Rollie turns to former-detective turned Private Investigator McCarthy to help him figure out why and bring the killer to justice.
Both movies were followed up by F/X: The Series, which has its own page, and recast the roles of both Rollie and McCarthy, likely for budget reasons.
F/X and F/X 2 contain examples of:
- Amoral Attorney
- Banned in China - Rollie's work got him banned in Australia.
- Car Chase
- Chekhov's Armory - Any and all special effects equipment that is shown at one point in either movie will come in to play by the end for more than Rollie's work.
- Also pay attention to any and all character traits mentioned, even if it's only once. Rollie does.
- Cowboy Cop
- Cryptic Background Reference - There are plenty of mentions of Rollie's past work.
- Dirty Cop - Main villain of the second film.
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Groin Attack
- Fake Action Prologue - Both movies open up with a shooting of a film.
- Faking the Dead
- Fight Scene
- Hey, It's That Guy!: The mob guy is Detective Lennie Briscoe and Baby's dad.
- One of Leo's colleagues is Gordon from Sesame Street!
- It Works Better with Bullets
- Jump Scare - Rollie has a latex movie monster set up to leap at his door while a recording of the monster's roar is played, whenever somebody comes in. An effective anti-intrusion method.
- Knife Nut
- Latex Perfection
- MacGyvering - Rollie is a special effects wizard. If you ever get the chance, ask an effects man just how much of their job involves this trope.
- The Mafia - Appears in the second movie.
- Master of Disguise
- Numbered Sequels
- Shower Scene - Used to lure out the killer in the second movie.
- Slashed Throat
- Special Effect Failure - Happens in-universe to the alien in the Fake Action Prologue of the second movie.
- There's No B in Movie - Second movie opens with a shooting of a film which features a sex starved transexual alien on a rampage.
- Staged Shooting
- They Fight Crime