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A biker's brother is killed while investigating the kidnapping of a young boy, the byproduct of a war between two crime families. The biker vows to get revenge by finding the kidnapped boy and destroying the two families. Written by
Tomas Milian gets two rival gangs fighting but they turn on him
In this Italian poliziotesschi, hero Tomas Milian (named Rambo) returns to Milan on his motorcycle. After his friend is murdered by one syndicate as he investigates a kidnapping, Milian reluctantly puts his great martial arts and shooting skills to work. He has tangled in the past with another syndicate leader (Joseph Cotten), and he uses that to set the two syndicates at war over the kidnapped boy. He hopes to free the boy during the battle. His first try fails, leading into further complications as the two syndicate leaders temporarily ally and go after Milian.
This plot carries an action-packed film that has its share of motorcycle and car chases, one on two or three fights, larger scale gun battles, some beatings and killings, and confrontations with gang members and leaders, while using the urban and rural settings nicely. Variety keeps the interest going and the plot twists.
Although the film is enjoyable and re-watchable, avoiding low points, it doesn't have the sparkling high points in the script or in the direction or in the characters that would make it stand out. It emerges as an average poliziotesschi action movie. It's predictable in some spots and stretches belief at others, but the biggest letdown is probably that the bad guys are too flatly characterized and portrayed. Their parts don't click enough, even though plenty of space is devoted to them.
In view of this, Milian has to carry the film. This is not a challenge he is up to, in my opinion. His work is respectable but not that charismatic or dominating. His screen persona doesn't quite integrate his traits and bring them out enough to gain convincing stature and identification. Here he is supposed to be very skilled, tough, compassionate to children and friends, and wanting revenge. He comes across more as a disheveled guy who somehow charms his way in the presence of hoods, who are not that sadistic and all defer to their bosses. He never seems tough. Something doesn't quite gel with me in this. This may be personal with me, but it's my take. Milian is no McQueen, and he maybe didn't want to be. But did he succeed with his alternative? Does he make you feel good that he's come out the winner? Or even the loser? Has he convinced you that he's the person on the screen and not an actor? Partially, it seems to me. Not entirely, at least in this effort.
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