It is rush hour in the heat of Los Angeles and a huge build up of traffic makes it necessary for 'D-Fens' (Michael Douglas, so named because of his car number plate) to complete his journey home on foot through the urban jungle. On his way, his temper rapidly fraying, he takes out the stress of modern living on various people whom he feels have contributed to his suffering.
Joel Schumacher's study of contemporary, urban stress is an observant, if flawed work. Douglas gives a surprisingly sympathetic performance as 'D-Fens', in a role that was a move away from previous parts. He cuts a swathe through suburban Los Angeles, taking his anger out on abusive drivers or shopkeepers, and in particular a homophobic neo-Nazi, (played to excellent effect by Frederic Forrest). This is one of the flaws in Schumacher's film: there seems to be a rationale behind Douglas' actions (only the truly evil really suffer) as he veers from being a complete psycho to a sympathetic and slightly pathetic character. He never truly goes over the edge, but teeters on the brink for the duration of the film.
Douglas turns in a fine performance, with excellent support from Barbara Hershey as his estranged wife and Robert Duvall playing the cop pursuing him. It is a worrying and unnerving reflection of our society, which will certainly make you wonder about the quality of life you strive to maintain.