Two Arkansas firemen, Vince and Don, get hold of a map that leads to a cache of stolen gold in an abandoned factory in East St. Louis. What they don't know is that the factory is in the ...
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Two Arkansas firemen, Vince and Don, get hold of a map that leads to a cache of stolen gold in an abandoned factory in East St. Louis. What they don't know is that the factory is in the turf of a local gang, who come by to execute one of their enemies. Vince sees the shooting, the gang spots Vince, and extended mayhem ensues. As Vince and Don try to escape, gang leader King James argues with his subordinate Savon about how to get rid of the trespassers. Written by
Jesse Garon <email@example.com>
According to Walter Hill, the idea to have so much of the movie shot through video tape came as they were getting ready to shoot. He read an article in the Washington Post about street gangs who would film a lot of their own activities:
"I simply saw it as a visual opportunity to play a lot of the movie through a viewfinder. I thought it might get you inside the gang better... I wanted everything to be rough around the edge. We shot most of the movie hand held... I wanted it to be herky-jerky. We Dutched a lot of the angles, especially as the story unfolds because the story gets crazier and crazier. We went from a less elegant-the early parts of the movie, there are no hand helds at all-but as the story gets more nervous and crazy, we go more and more to a hand held thing until, finally, the end of the movie is all entirely hand held". See more »
I told you that motherfucker was scandalous! Now we get to break him off some.
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The main focus of this movie is the set-up of various action sequences, the debating over what to do in the characters' situations, and what Walter Hill has always been especially good at the overall machismo. Most of "Trespass" is a drawn-out standoff between the bad guys in a remote, long-abandoned warehouse and the grossly outnumbered good guys in a tightly-sealed room with the bad leader's brother as a hostage. David Fincher may have wanted to watch this movie and taken notes, since "Panic Room" has got absolutely nothing on this movie. The action begins very quickly and doesn't let up until the fiery, casualty-counting conclusion, making the film's 101min length seem like not even half that. "Trespass" is ripe with Hill's inimitable style and pace, combining with Ry Cooder's score and Lloyd Ahern's sepia-toned cinematography to create a sense of desolation and high tension for the setting.
Add to this an excellent cast of genre and character actors for a very captivating film. Bill Paxton and William Sadler ("Die Hard II") turn in intense performances as the lone protagonists, especially Sadler whose career unfortunately never reached the level it should have. Ice-T is in one of his more effective roles as King James, the gangsta leader. Ice Cube also stands out as the upstart, rebellious follower of James, Savon; his "king of the streets" speech is the monologue highlight of the movie. Art Evans (also from "Die Hard II") is perfect as the wise old angry homeless man, who reluctantly helps out Paxton and Sadler despite their initial treatment of him. And the criminal elements include noticeable performances from De'voreaux White as the unfortunate hostage 'Lucky'; Tiny 'Zeus' Lister Jr. as the musclebound henchman 'Cletus'; and the underused Stoney Jackson as the overly-suave crony 'Wickey'.
This was the last of a string of box office disappointments (including "Johnny Handsome" and "Another 48 Hrs.") that Hollywood allowed Walter Hill to make before relegating him to the role of mainstream hack. "Trespass" was released with little fanfare, having its release date postponed from summertime to after Christmas as a result of the 'crisis' that was the LA riots. Besides its original title of "Looters", "Trespass" also includes the recurring theme of seeing events via videocamera (which would have been a troubling reminder of the Rodney King and Reginald Denny beatings), not to mention a heavy, uncompromising racist slant not too common in modern-day action movies.
Though not Hill's best, it is far from his worst. A must-see for fans of stylized action. 8/10
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