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Giancarlo Cairella <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Plays out just like "To Live and Die in L.A." but with less thrills
I skimmed through the other reviews about this film and it's unbelievable that none of them made mention to "To Live and Die in L.A.". First of all, both films were based on novels written by former Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich, and if you look closer the plots are very similar: there's a whole police investigation on a dangerous counterfeiter, then there's the death of an undercover agent and his partner will revenge his death doing whatever it takes to get the bad guy. And once again, it's all criminals doing fake money and spreading all over...Los Angeles!
But the thing "Boiling Point" doesn't imitate from Friedkin's movie is the quality, the surprises, the plot twists. And there's so much life in that movie that it's really difficult to make something so close to it. Not to mention that Warner changed the game and edited down the film in order to generate a bigger hit after their success with another movie with Wesley Snipes, who plays the hero in this one. Maybe this could be a different kind of film with an unusual approach on the villains played by Dennis Hopper (in one of his best efforts I must say) and the then unknown Viggo Mortensen (who plays one of the most deadly and mean guys I've ever seen) as the original project conceived by director/writer James B. Harris was.
Most people don't like comparisons but it's hard not to. One must compare to have a full idea of what's going on. The main difference between "To Live and Die in L.A." and this in terms of plot is that the bad guy is quite sympathetic despite his frightening looks and his strange yet confident walk. We kind of trust this guy because there's worse guys than him, people of whom he owns a lot of money. We look at him, thinking he might kill someone just to get what he wants but no, he refuses to do so, even when we're sure he's about to do it. Willem Dafoe in "To Live..." was a real artist who used of his kraft to be a criminal but he was also a unmerciful stone cold killer. What connects both films is one character named Max Waxman (here played by Jonathan Banks), a corrupt lawyer who meets his fate in the other movie.
"Boiling Point" is a fine movie, although a little bit dated, more dramatic than what's not supposed to be. The few action scenes, the engrossing tension built in all the business transactions scenes worth the view just as seeing the good cast giving solid performances. Dan Hedaya, Paul Gleason, Lolita Davidovich, Seymour Cassel, Tobin Bell, James Tolkan made the show very enjoyable.
Entertaining but only just another average picture. 7/10
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