When Milano police lieutenant Giorga's chief is murdered by an organized crime ring, he vows to avenge his boss's death. Going undercover to continue the chief's investigation, he plans to ...
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Alberto de Mendoza
When Milano police lieutenant Giorga's chief is murdered by an organized crime ring, he vows to avenge his boss's death. Going undercover to continue the chief's investigation, he plans to take over a pimping outfit and then proceed to beat up enough low-level thugs until the big guys in the crime ring take notice of him, letting him get close enough to uncover their secrets. Should this unorthodox method actually work, he still must take down the entire organization single-handed. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
Many of the best Giallo directors tried their hand at the Dirty Harry-inspired Polizi sub-genre at some point, and The Violent Professionals is Sergio Martino's classy effort. The film isn't as good as Martino's Giallo efforts (few films are), but it still stands up as one of the better Polizi films. Martino packs the film with all the elements that make this sort of thing successful; we've got car chases, gun fights, fist fights, a headstrong lead character etc. Unfortunately, despite working from a script by ace writer Ernesto Gastaldi, The Violent Professionals does suffer from the classic Italian film problem of a confusing plot. The plot follows the murder of a police chief. Lieutenant Giorga doesn't take this very well, and decides to follow up the chief's investigation by going undercover in a local gang of low lives. His plan is to build up enough of a reputation for himself that will enable him to get close to the leaders of the group and learn their secrets; but this foolhardy plan runs into a lot of adversity...
Like many Italian crime flicks, this one takes place in Milan. I've never been to Milan, but I'm guessing that it was one hell of a sleaze den back in the seventies as these films don't exactly paint a pretty picture! Sergio Martino does well at presenting a gritty urban atmosphere, and this hugely benefits the film. Martino's direction is solid throughout, and he can certainly take his place as one of the finest directors that Italy ever produced. Even when I wasn't completely sure what was going on, Martino keeps the tension bubbling and the film ticks over nicely all the way through. The standout moment takes the form of a car chase through the streets of Milan, and cinematic chases have rarely been better. The acting is strong also, and the film features a brilliant performance from Luc Merenda in the lead role, as well as film noir regular Richard Conte in support. The film lacks a good female lead, but other than that it pretty does everything you would want it to. Overall, The Violent Professionals isn't the best film of its type - but it's certainly a good one and gets high recommendations from me.
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