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Quite an uneven and hasty balance of humour and drama totally misses the mark, despite some recognizable faces (Ronny Cox, Leon Isaac Kennedy, Frank Gorshin, Trish Van Deverve and Carrie Fisher) in the cast. The episodic screenplay that covers the Vice-Squad through Hollywood is strung together by various (but very worn out) stories (from the ridiculous (illegal bookies) to the seamy (prostitution, drug abuse), and plain kinky (Bondage pornography)) and an overload of colourful characters. There's too much going though, which makes the film less effective with its unsure mixture. The comic approach it goes for it too hysterical, and cartoony, which this overshadows the depressingly brooding context of the more serious moments. Many sequences (largely the ones trying to make laugh) are really uncalled for, and add nothing but to draw it out. Never does it set itself apart, and would've been better to sticking to one path. The pace is fair, but still lulls about it in patches. Some of the stunt work is relentlessly done, and in that over-the-top style. Penelope Spheeris' direction is busy in nature direction, but untidy and the script is cluttered with infantile and vile dialogues. The location is well presented, but it never really features much presence as it should, or becomes a potent character. Fisher's eager, headstrong performance is the pick of the lot, but it's just too bad her role is quite brief.
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