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A bizarre mix of creative talents went in to making this movie. Not the
kind of thing that happens too often these days. A script from Robert
Zemeckis and Bob Gale, direction by Walter Hill and his usual gang
(strong editing from Freeman Davies, cool photography from Lloyd Ahern
and score by Ry Cooder), Bill Paxton and William Sadler as the 'heroes'
and Ice T and Ice Cube as the bad guys. It makes for a truly original
Much like Judgment Night, Trespass is about two worlds colliding after bystanders witness a gangland execution. Two firemen on a treasure hunt in a huge, long abandoned East St. Louis factory. This happens to be the same territory as King James (Ice T) and his cohorts. They off some unwise punk by chucking him thru the glass roof and are pretty mortified upon discovering Bill Paxton and William Sadler are watching them. Ice T's crippled brother is taken hostage by Sadler and they seal themselves in old apartment. Several other bad guys show up and totally box them in.
What follows is a succession of stand-offs and shoot outs as Paxton and Sadler fight among themselves, T and Cube argue over who should be running the show, loyalties are challenged and each group begins to split into different factions. Stuck in the crossfire is poor old Bradlee, the innocent hobo caught in the middle as his apartment is besieged.
There are no clear-cut 'good guys' and 'bad guys' in Trespass. Just a bunch of guys who all came to the wrong place at the wrong time.
Originally called 'Looters' and scheduled for release during Summer 1992 the release date was changed to Winter and the title changed to 'Trespass'. Why? The LA riots were happening and Universal felt that there was enough racial tension in the media already. While I agree there is deliberate racism in this film it's nowhere near as bad as the morbidly extreme racism in such recent movies like Bad Boys II.
This new release by Universal is much better than the pathetic (and now OOP) release by Goodtimes. Gone is the snapper case. In its place is a sturdy keepcase and a nice bundle of extras. First of all there are some deleted scenes, a Behind the Scenes of Trespass featurette, the Ice-T/Ice Cube Trespass music video (it's the highly censored 'radio' edit) and a trailer. It is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 2.0 sound.
You should definitely get this as it's not the standard of film Hollywood studios produce these days. IE made by talented people.
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
I saw this film recently on cable and found myself more intrigued by it
I thought I would be. I hadn't heard anything about this movie so I
didn't know what to expect. It ended up being much better than I expected
and, while not a great film, it is certainly one I wouldn't mind watching
again. I recognized the elements of "Treasure of Sierra Madre" without
having any information about the film. I've since learned that it was
indeed echoing Huston's film.
I had no problem with the actors and actually found some of the conflicts on both sides interesting. Even some of the "bad guys" were struggling to deal with decisions they didn't necessarily agree with. I didn't really see the characters as all bad or all good. Each had their own demons that they brought with them and they were all susceptible to the lure of gold.
It seems that it is impossible to have a movie that is completely action
orientated, yet be highly intelligent.But Trespass has done this very well.
It puts together a group of characters in a difficult situation with which
you get to see them react to their circumstances in a fresh and realistic
I was very impressed with Ice-T who gave an extremely convincing performance as the leader of the criminals.
This film is excellent and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who would like to see an action movie done right!
Looking at the cover of 'Trespass' it would be easy to overlook it on the shelves, thinking it was just another one of hundreds of generic action movies that clog up the video store shelves. I know I did for quite some time. Bill Paxton and William Sadler are dependable character actors but seeing the pictures of both Ice-T and Ice Cube hardly inspires confidence. As rappers they are without doubt very talented, but apart from Cube's surprisingly good performance in 'Three Kings', neither has impressed me as an actor. In fact having Ice-T in the cast of a movie is invariably a sign that it sucks big time. No disrespect intended to T, but he seems to have made some lousy career choices when it comes to motion pictures ('Tank Girl', 'Mean Guns', 'Below Utopia', 'The Alternate',etc.etc.) closer inspection however reveals that 'Trespass' is directed by Walter Hill. That's Walter 'The Driver', 'The Warriors', 'The Long Riders' Hill. Even more interesting is the fact that the script is by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis of 'Back To The Future' fame. Well I'm glad I finally gave this movie a shot, because while it isn't one of Hill's best, it's a very effective and tense thriller. It's a siege thriller, and I love that style when it's done well e.g. 'Straw Dogs', 'Assault On Precinct 13'. Paxton and Sadler play firefighting buddies who come in possession of a map which reveals hidden treasure, looted from a church fifty years earlier. When they journey to an abandoned factory to find it they witness a murder and find themselves trapped. Outside is gangsta King James (Ice-T) and his gang, including hotheaded Savon (Ice Cube), and inside they have James' junkie "brother" Lucky (De'Voreaux White) as a hostage, and an old homeless man Bradlee (Art Evans). Okay, I'll admit that there's not much new here (the movie is deliberately modeled on John Huston's classic 'The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre'), but the acting is above average, especially from Sadler, a most underrated actor, and Hill manages to sustain the suspense right until the very end. Definitely worth a look.
I have only ever seen this film at about 2-00 in the morning on late night T.V. but what a great show it was. Good action and adventure and a decent enough story for a low budget action flick. This was yet another average selling Bill Paxton film that was really good. For an actor that was outside the a-list, nearly every film he made was worth the watching and this is no exception. Definitely worth watching on T.V. although I don't know if it is the sort of film that you would pay to buy a copy of but if you come home after a night out and are looking for a film to watch to keep you going through the night, you could do worse than watch this.
This is a film independent film makers should take a look at if action films are of any interest to them. Not for the seen-it-all, heard-it-all plot and profane dialogue, but for Walter Hill's staging and execution of the action. The film has a terrific pace to it and the camera always shows an interesting angle. The locations are at a minimum, very cost efficient and capably creating a claustrophobic atmosphere. Very well done. Good, moody music score, again, by the great Ry Cooder.
Trespass is an action movie. No doubt about it. But to judge it accordingly
would be a mistake.
Walter Hill, one of the best action directors ever, is at the helm of this
movie, which automatically makes it worth a look.
The movie concerns a couple of hick fire fighters (Bill Paxton and Bill Sadler, in great roles): one a classic hick, the other a borderline psycho, chasing treasure in the ghetto. They eventually cross paths with some big-time G's (gangsters) led by Ice-T and Ice Cube.
The story still sounds familiar, and for Hill it is a return to certain familiar territory. Like many of his pictures the movie centers around machismo and male posturing, but not since Hill's 48HRS had he done a film that contained some subtle social commentary on race relations, and paranoid stereotyping. There are fierce gun battles as expected, and the story is never boring. "Die Hard in the Ghetto" , may have been an equally suitable title.
The movie is tense , funny and great, and sadly, was ignored at the box-office during its' Christmas 1992 release. Fortunately, it has been immortalized on home video and DVD.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Trespass starts in Arkansas where two firemen Vince (Bill Paxton) & Don
(William Sadler) stumble across a map showing the whereabouts of
millions in stolen gold while putting out a huge fire, together they
decide to find the gold for themselves & get rich. The map leads the
pair to East St. Louis & an old abandoned factory, once there they
start looking for the gold. Meanwhile local gangster King James (Ice-T)
& his gang kill a rival who has ripped them off thinking no-one would
be at the abandoned factory. Vince & Don witness the murder & are seen
by King James & his gang, thinking fast Don takes a hostage &
barricades himself & Vince a in a secure room. For the time being they
are safe as there is no way into the room but at the same time there is
no way out either so Vince & Don are trapped as King James & his men
outside try to get into the room & kill them...
Directed by Walter Hill this is an entertaining little action thriller that I quite liked. The script by executive producers Bob Gale & Robert Zemeckis could be described as a more urban version of Panic Room (2002), only a decade earlier. The basic plot which really isn't too dissimilar to Panic Room is very good & I liked it, it's one of those plots where you tend to put yourself in certain character's positions & think about what you would do in their situation. Whether you would go hunting for the gold or how you would get out of the room without getting killed by the gangsters Trespass has a good story that holds your attention & definitely keeps you interested until the end. The character's are good if a little too simple, they are either good or bad with nothing between really although Don has a certain darker side. The script is fairly pacey although I must say that it can get a little repetitive at times, once Vince & Don are trapped in the room the film never really goes anywhere else & there aren't any sub-plots or anything else going on. The script also tries to throw in some moral dilemmas, in particular Vince & Don have millions in gold but it's completely worthless since they are more than likely going to be killed, it has a stab at trying to say money isn't everything & greed will ultimately lead to ones downfall. I suspect the main reason why Trespass isn't more well known is that there's a distinct lack of big action set-pieces, there's some shoot-outs & some scenes of buildings on fire but little else in the way of action. So what it boils down to really is whether you want lots of action or can get by with just a good solid intriguing plot, overall I liked Trespass but it's not a film I would probably want to watch again anytime soon.
Set almost entirely in an abandoned factory the film looks nice enough & the action is well choreographed. I suppose it's a fairly unremarkable film that won't last long in the memory in terms of looks & visual style but the plot does stand out & is something a little bit different. The violence is not excessive, a few people get shot & someone gets pushed off a roof. There is however lots of profanity as all the black gangsters swear like it's a religion, in fact all the language does get a little tedious & tiresome after a while. Just because you can say the 'F' word several times in a sentence doesn't mean you are hard.
Although set in St. Louis it was apparently shot on location in Memphis in Tennessee & Atlanta in Georgia. I must say that I am big fans of both Bill Paxton & William Sadler & I think they are both very good in this while the two named after small blocks of frozen water Ice-T & Ice Cube swear a lot. One of very few films not to feature a single woman during it's running time at all.
Trespass is a good tight little taught thriller with some nice action as well, the story is good & I liked it but it does get a little repetitive at times & if you can't get into the story then you will end up hating it.
The film based on the B. Traven story 'Treasure of Sierra Madre' already a 'one of the best films' by John Houston updates the story to a run down area of East St Louis. Virtually a single location and smallish cast. The dialogue is loaded 'f's' & 'm-f's' but is none the worse for that. Hill's refusal to give the characters any background beyon d a few basic facts, for example the treasure seekers are known to be firemen, allows the characterisation to develop before the viewers eyes. There are some extremely funny moments especially the ones involving mobile phones -something no modern gang member should be without it seems. I watched this film on TV and regret not having seen it originally in the cinema - if in fact that was possible where I live.
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