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Great? Not exactly, but still a very interesting curio
This film seems to have possibly been inspired by the earlier film, DEATH WISH. In both, we feature a big city in which decent citizens are being bullied by drug addicts and predators. While one reviewer felt this was "paranoid" and "borders on racism", I don't see HOW talking about real urban problems like this automatically qualifies as either. Yes, since it's a film it is extreme--that's what you expect from a movie. But come on, the average American IS worried about life in the big city and this is somewhat justified. I say "somewhat" because many of our big cities are actually pretty safe, but up until very recently this wasn't the case in places like New York. Paranoia isn't truly paranoia and racism isn't truly racism if there is some truth to it.
This story is about a tenement filled with old people and a gang that beats and extorts the old folks almost constantly--with little help from the police. It's so bad that Martin Balsam's lady friend eventually kills herself to escape. It is then that he decides to act.
All in all, it's an interesting film that is pretty entertaining. Not exactly realistic, but not so far from reality that it is unbelievable.
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