Working largely in cases of counterfeiting, LA based Secret Service agent Richie Chance exhibits reckless behavior which according to his longtime and now former partner Jimmy Hart will probably land him in the morgue before he's ready to retire. That need for the thrill manifests itself in his personal life by his love of base jumping. Professionally, it is demonstrated by the fact that he is sextorting a parolee named Ruth Lanier, who feeds him information in return for him not sending her back to prison for some trumped up parole violation. With his new partner John Vukovich, Chance is more determined than ever, based on recent circumstances, to nab known longtime counterfeiter Ric Masters, who is more than willing to use violence against and kill anyone who crosses him. Masters is well aware that the Secret Service is after him. Masters' operation is somewhat outwardly in disarray, with Chance being able to nab his mule, Carl Cody, in the course of moving some of the fake money, ... Written by
William Friedkin, in his memoir "The Friedkin Connection," says that the fake money they made was so good that, after some of it left the set, he eventually heard from the Secret Service and a US Attorney. After he avoided a confrontation with them, Friedkin states, "When the film came out, there were news stories about people trying to make counterfeit money after seeing the step-by-step process in our film. I took some of the twenties, those printed on both sides of course, put them in my wallet, and spent them, in restaurants, shoe-shine parlors, and elsewhere. The money was that good." See more »
As Cody walks to the window to have his visit with Masters, his bottle of Pepto-Bismol is already sitting at the window. See more »
Somehow, I just love the feel and styles of the '80's. The music, the fashion statements, the hair styles and the movies. Maybe it's just because I was a kid in the Eighties, and the days of your childhood are mostly what you have a longing for.
So, the other day, when I started to watch 'To Live and Die in LA', I knew there was a very small chance that I would dislike the movie. And I liked it. From the opening sequence soundtrack to the style and swagger of the lead character, to the ladies. The movie is about a daredevil cop, Chance, who likes a bit of BASE jumping along with his job. His partner is about to retire from duty in a few days, but gets killed while trying to track down a lead on counterfeit money being produced in LA. The counterfeiter, Rick Masters (William Dafoe in a wonderfully wild and wicked role) shoots him down and leaves him to the dead. Chance decides he wants to track down the killer no matter what the methods used. He gets assigned with the seemingly by the book, nervous Vukovich. However, as Vukovich starts to work with Chance and trusts him, he slowly begins to come around to his way of thinking. The rest of the movie deals with how Chance and Vukovich, with the help of Chance's ultra sexy informer, tracks down Masters. The climax is something worth waiting for, as it hits the viewer unexpectedly and suddenly.
The acting is good enough, though not great. The look and feel of the movie reminded me a bit of Michael Mann's Miami Vice TV series in the eighties. Though William Peterson was good as Chance, I did wonder how it would have been if the more suave and sophisticated Don Johnson had played the lead. Oh, and there a pretty explicit sex scene between Chance and his informer as well.
All in all, a pretty good watch for anyone who likes cop movies, and a must watch for the fans of the eighties.
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