LAWS OF DECEPTION
A small child witnesses the brutal murder of his mob-connected parents at the hands of a rival mafioso, Gino Carlucci (JAMES RUSSO) in their home on Christmas Eve.
Twenty years later, the child- Evan Marino (C. THOMAS HOWELL) has grown up to become the top law student at the University of Miami. Evan, to whom justice has become practically a religion, has but one goal: To become the number one criminal lawyer in Miami. Although his father was a noted member of the Mafia, Evan is determined not to follow in his footsteps.
His best friend and fellow law student, Cal (BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN) has a different goal: To enjoy all the carnal pleasures college life has to offer - especially the women. Cal can afford to be less committed than Evan. His career is set - he has an offer to join his uncleís firm when he graduates. Cal thinks Evan should relax and enjoy some of the benefits of being young, single and a future yuppie. Despite the temptations, Evan is determined not to let anything stand in the way of his achieving his goals... or so he thinks.
Enter Elise Talbot (AMBER SMITH), a devastatingly beautiful young law student shrouded in mystery and with a seemingly hidden agenda of her own. Elise has been watching Evanís progress with a keen eye. She has plans: To elevate herself to a position of wealth and power by any means possible. She sees Evan as a means to accomplish this goal and seduces him into an erotic web of passion and sex, the likes of which Evan could never have imagined. Evan, naÔve and not knowing how to react to this dynamic, sexy woman, falls completely in love with her. Their relationship is emotionally and sexually intense, but Eliseís plans begin to backfire when Evanís insatiable drive shifts from the classroom to the bedroom. Elise has brought out a side of him that he never knew existed. In his desire for her, he allows his passions to control him and his career ambitions become secondary... his grades begin to drop. So infatuated with Elise is he that he tells an astonished Cal that he is thinking of turning down a prestigious position as an attorney in a high-powered Miami law firm so that he can settle down to a nice quiet practice in a smaller town and be with Elise. Cal, jealous of the relationship, thinks Evan is getting much too involved with Elise. But Evan is too far gone to listen - he is a prisoner of love.
Elise, noticing that Evan is no longer the ambitious power-hungry law student that he was, begins to distance herself from him. As Evanís grades continue to fall and he is near expulsion, Elise drops him for another man - a mysterious other man. Evan is left alone... devastated - his life shattered.
Flash forward five years- Evan is now an established criminal attorney in Miami- working for a prestigious high-powered law firm and riding a wave of popular success due to his savvy handling of certain well-publicized cases concerning the criminal underworld.
Enter Elise once again- still young, still gorgeous... and accused of murdering her wealthy husband- Gino Carlucci- whom she has married and was in the process of divorcing. Elise desperately tries to enlist Evan as her attorney, but Evan remembers the past too well. She is persistent and once again seduces him over to her side. He decides to defend her, against his better judgment. As they spend more and more time together piecing the facts and searching for clues, the old passion re-ignites and, once again, Evan is faced with his own dilemmas: Should he trust and help her? Or is he too close to the flame that once consumed him? And what are the psychological and ethical repercussions of his involvement?
In Evanís search to unravel the events that led to the murder of Eliseís husband, he uncovers many incriminating pieces of evidence that point to several suspects: Elise, the Mafia and Cal. It turns out Cal was the mysterious other man that Elise dropped Evan for years ago. Upon learning this, Evan is even more determined to seek out the true killer.
Meanwhile, Cal has turned up - acting very strangely. He is a depressed alcoholic and has been obsessed with Elise ever since she dumped him for her now-deceased husband. He has been following her and has some very compromising photographs in his possession. Turns out he hired a very sleazy Miami private detective (ROBERT MIANO) to record her every move and inform him - until his money ran out.
The Mafia has their interest in the case as well. Gino Carlucci was deeply involved with them at the time of his murder and was not particularly in their favor. He was a ruthless bastard that any number of people might have wanted dead. You might even say that he was a marked man. But did someone beat them to it?
Lieutenant Mather (NICK MANCUSO) of the Miami Police, with whom Evan shares information and a friendship with, thinks that whoever committed the murder did a good job of pointing the finger at Elise. Lieutenant Mather warns Evan not to get too involved, keep his mind on the job and not to let his personal involvement cloud his judgment when it comes to Elise... After all, she stands to inherit a fortune if she is acquitted. But it is too late for that. Evan is in too deep.
And what about Evan? Could the bitterness he felt when Elise dumped him all those years ago have turned him into an avenging angel with a score to settle? Perhaps. But it seems someone is out to kill him as well. He narrowly dodges bullets and speeding cars in his attempts to ferret out the clues that will lead to another suspect. As the clues become evident, the plot twists until Evan seems to hold the final key- Literally speaking.
There is the small but important question regarding the missing key, a crucial piece of evidence - the key to the house where the murdered husband was found... floating in his Jacuzzi with a bullet in his head. Perhaps whoever has the key is the killer. Except nobody seems to know what happened to it.
It all moves full circle to a shocking conclusion that echoes from Evanís past and involves all the suspects...
Cal... who has hit rock bottom and in a scene of suicidal despair tells Evan everything he knows about Elise - that she was working for Gino Carlucci in college and he used her to find out what Evan remembered about the night his parents were murdered by him twenty years before...
The Mafia - ready to hit Gino Carlucci for their own reasons... and out to hit Evan too, it seems.
Elise- the beautiful seductress- getting her way through lust and lies... at the expense of lives.
And lastly... Evan himself- who has the most to lose... and to gain.
Theyíre all guilty of something, but only one of them is guilty of breaking the laws of deception.
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