|Index||3 reviews in total|
Funky soundtracks, delicious 70's fashion styles, macho men living life
in the fast lane and dames so exquisite even you might consider a life
of crime. There are many reasons to love the Italian crime movies of
the 70's. They have a certain lovable charm. They can be funny but they
can also be nihilistic and grim.
You never know who will live or die. In the world of Italian gangster flicks no-one is safe. The love interest, the children, the parents, even the hero himself and everyone who is around him are in constant danger of meeting a cruel and painful death at any moment. Because of this you get very tense and unforeseeable plots that will have you sitting on the edge of the seat until the credits roll down the screen.
"Shoot first, die later" is also one of the better titles of the genre. So you should definitely check it out. It might be a little talky for some people but it never gets boring. The plot is simple but perfectly executed and there is always something exiting happening to keep my interest.
There are a couple of nice car-chases, a few explosions and some standard gunfare but the true excitement lies in the tense and emotional plot. Luc Merenda is no Fabio Testi but he delivers a solid performance as the corrupt cop who get tangled in a increasingly bleak situation that might be the end for both himself and those who stand him near. He is actually quite perfect for movies of this type. Di Leo, probably the best director in the genre, have once again delivered a great crime movie that should be seen by everyone who is even remotely interested in the world of Italian action-thrillers.
I love these movies and if you are into this stuff you should definitely check out the two volumes of Fernando Di Leo crime collection (amongst others this movie is found in this collection) put out on both DVD and blu-ray by Raro Video. The Blu-rays look and feel great and they are reasonably cheap to buy. So i would absolutely recommend those collections even for newcomers. Now i am of to watch another one and dream of the next GTA title paying homage to the Itallian crime genre ala Vice City for "Scarface" and "Miami Vice". I can tell you that i would be first in line to get a taste of that. It could be titled something like "GTA: Roma Violencia"... ooooh i would like that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*Minor spoiler in the following comment*
A very good "spaghetti polar" from the talented director Fernando DiLeo. Luc Merenda isn't the best leading man of the genre but the rest of the cast is first rate, so is the inevitable car chase occurring in the middle of the story.
There is also an interesting look at police corruption in Italy - a theme very sensitive at that time there, I guess - delivered by an intelligent script and a main character very well drawn.
And, of course, there's also a huge amount of violence in it and a very dark conclusion.
Though generally a tad overrated (neither Milano Calibro 9 nor Il Boss are the transgressive "masterpieces" some Italocinema fetishists want them to be), so-called "cult" director Fernando di Leo manages to strike some grippingly dissonant chords in Shoot First, Die Later, the original title being less sensationalistic than bone dry: The Rotten Cop. While most poliziotteschi are essentially feelgood movies, the degenerates and lowlifes getting what they justly deserve, this one marches to an entirely different drum. At its core a father-son story the excellent Salvo Randone playing Pops to the opposite of leading beau Luc Merenda , it's a cynical morality play about a model cop appropriately named Malacarne (literally meaning "bad meat") who feels perfectly comfortable with being on the payroll of the mafia until things go terribly awry: Unlike the cheap-thrills roller coaster violence of other Eurocrime movies, the stark brutality here comes across as callous, pitiless, not even nasty, but unpleasant through and through; actually, the two car chases, skillfully done by stunt coordinator Rémy Julienne, feel like a concession to the regular poliziotto crowd. In its acidly sarcastic Weltanschauung and the complete lack of redeeming qualities, Shoot First, Die Later is doubtless more akin to the cinema of Rosi, Damiani or Elio Petri than to the staccato over-the-top action of Castellari or Lenzi: A doom loop of human failings.
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