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.