An ex-con who's taken part in the robbery of a racetrack is caught and sent back to prison, but he won't tell his fellow gang members where he's stashed the loot. The gang kidnaps his ...
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An ex-con who's taken part in the robbery of a racetrack is caught and sent back to prison, but he won't tell his fellow gang members where he's stashed the loot. The gang kidnaps his girlfriend and has him tortured in prison in an effort to find out where the money is. Written by
Stark and bleak of expression with mixed performances, too much talk, and several dramatically muddled and muffed sequences
Stanley Baker is convincing as a brutal villain, but it looked to me that he could easily have been nobbled by several of his prison inmates. There's a lot of talk that attempts to sew the plot together, but not a lot of action - and I don't mean fights and car chases, I mean the difference between taking the audience on a cinematic journey as opposed to being told what's happening by the dialogue. There's too much telling and not enough showing. Several of the set-pieces in this essentially crime/gangster genre story are clumsily handled. The robbery is poorly covered: we don't know what the plan is, or what the perpetrators are up against, plus several opportunities for high tension are muffed. In the prison, the conflicts are fairly well developed and realised, but often they're stagey or overwrought. Gregoire Aslan is an excellent 'capo' and there is some good character work by the supporting cast, but there is also some woeful acting. The general statement of this film is that this is a grim, bleak, violent society in which ordinary man is always imprisoned - that part works, but as a drama or a thriller it's clunky and uneven. An under-developed script, some patchy, but energetic direction, and a generally excellent job of anamorphic lensing by Aussie Robert Krasker.
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