There are so many questions raised by this film that it is difficult to review it. The original screenplay by Douglas Morrow (1956) has been 'updated' by writer/director Peter Hyams, and while the concept of the plot is a strong one, it requires rather savvy actors to make it work. Aside from Michael Douglas as the DA of questionable ethics and court proceedings, the rest of the cast is a rather ill-prepared group of nascent actors in need of more experience than in the fluff films from which they came.
C.J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) enters the Shreveport scene complete with a prize for reporting, eager to make it big and earn a Pulitzer: he seems to have an equal obsession with chasing young pretty women and finds one in the person of Ella Crystal (Amber Tamblyn) who happens to be the assistant to the DA. Nicholas, and his entertaining co-worker Corey (Joel David Moore), are on to something - they believe that the DA tampers with forensic evidence to win cases, focusing on phony DNA samples rather than thorough investigation. Out to debunk the DA, Nicholas plans to plant evidence at a crime scene, a stunt he will later use to expose the wannabe Governor DA, and in order to make this work, he places himself as the 'evidential perpetrator' of a crime. He manages to draw Ella into his circle of lust as well as his overall plan to unseat the DA. Things change and the ending could have been surprising in the hands of better actors.
The film is heavily padded with the requisite car chases and explosions and derring-do of the good cop/bad cop type, but the real problem with the movie is the weak presence of Metcalfe and Tamblyn. If the viewer can tolerate the confusing aspects of mixing high humor in the first part with the supposed suspense in the second, then the film is worth the entertainment. It could have been a stronger film with a cast of professionals.